President Trump on Saturday tweeted that he "smiled" when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un insulted former Vice President Joe Biden. Now, while appearing on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump agrees with Kim on Biden. The North Korean news agency KCNA had published a scathing article on Biden last week calling him a "fool of low IQ," according to The Hill.
"I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden," Sanders told the show's host Chuck Todd. "Again, the president's focus in this process is the relationship he has and making sure we continue on the path towards denuclearization."
"The president doesn't need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden," Sanders added after Todd asked her what message Trump's giving by supporting Kim's words on Biden. "He's given his own assessment a number of times. I think you've seen it. I'm sure you've covered it on your program. The president watched him and his administration with President Obama fail for eight years."
Trump had tweeted about Biden in response to recent missile tests by North Korea. "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," Trump wrote. "I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?" The first version of the tweet spelled Biden's name wrong and was deleted.
"He is self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh," the North Korean news agency wrote about Biden. "Explicitly speaking, we will never pardon anyone who dare provoke the supreme leadership of the DPRK but will certainly make them pay for it." What Biden said to anger the North Koreans is not exactly clear, though he has recently referred to Kim as a dictatory and tyrant, a spokesperson for Biden's presidential campaign confirmed to NBC News.
The fact that Trump would agree with Kim and North Korea's assessment clearly surprised Todd. "The president of the United States takes the North Korean dictator's word about Joe Biden?" Todd asked Sanders. "What happened to speaking with one voice in American foreign policy? Is the president not setting up trying to have world leaders sort of pick which political party they should side with? I don't understand what message the president is sending here."
The spokesperson from the Biden campaign responded to the comments, both from Trump and North Korea. "Given Vice President Biden's record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House," the spokesperson told NBC News.
There is some variety of opinion within the Trump administration on North Korea. Contradicting the president's line that all is well in North Korea, National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the recent missile testing is a violation of UN resolutions on Saturday, according to Reuters.