Speed Reads

Tall Tales

Trump claims parents of Korean War veterans begged him for help during the campaign. They'd be at least 100.

In his interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier that aired Wednesday night, President Trump acknowledged that any deal with Kim Jong Un would have to include verification that North Korea was actually destroying its nuclear weapons and infrastructure, but he pointed to one concrete commitment Kim had made: returning the remains of Americans killed or captured during the Korean War. "We have thousands of people who have asked for that — thousands and thousands of people," Trump said. "So many people asked when I was on the campaign. I would say, 'Wait a minute, I don't have any relationship.' But they said, 'When you can, president, we'd love our son to be brought back home — you know, the remains."

Let's do the math. Say an American solider was 18 when he was sent to North Korea in the war's final year, 1953 — he would have been 80 in 2015; if his parents had given birth to him when they were 18, they would have been 98 in 2015. More realistically, the parents would have been well over 100.

"My grandfather was an Army captain during Korea, died in 2008 at age 80," Brian Beutler recounted. "His mother died 10 years earlier. She would be 122 this year." The Atlantic's James Fallows added: "My dad, who died 10 years ago, was a Navy doctor during the Korean War. His parents — the generation Trump is talking about — were born around 1900." Is it possible lots of centenarians approached Trump during the campaign, calling him "president," and asking him to talk to Kim about the MIA/POW remains? Yes, it is not impossible. But even if you are inclined to trust Trump, you'd probably want verification for this story.