Wallace: Trump Made 'Completely Unforced Error' With Remark About Otto Warmbier
Warmbier's parents blame 'evil regime' for son's death.
The parents of Otto Warmbier on Friday issued a statement blaming Kim Jong Un's "evil regime" for their son's death, just one day after President Trump said he takes Kim "at his word" that he was not aware of Warmbier's harsh conditions in captivity.
Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, spent 17 months in a North Korean prison for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster while on a tour of Pyongyang. Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in a vegetative state in June 2017 but passed away several days later.
At a press conference Thursday after the nuclear talks in Hanoi fell apart, Trump said he believed that Kim had no knowledge of the "really, really bad things" that happened to Warmbier while he was detained for nearly a year and a half.
In response, Fred and Cindy Warmbier released a statement to the media:
We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.
On "America's Newsroom," Chris Wallace said Trump publicly stating that he takes the North Korean dictator at his word was "a completely unforced error."
"There's no question that Otto Warmbier was brutally tortured, basically killed by the North Koreans. Why on earth would you side with Kim Jon Un over the Warmbier family?" Wallace wondered.
He said that even if Kim is telling the truth that did not know about Warmbier's harsh treatment, there is still no reason for Trump to "get into this fight."
Wallace noted that in addition to the Warmbier family, the president has also gotten strong pushback from Republican lawmakers and even his former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley.
Americans know the cruelty that was placed on Otto Warmbier by the North Korean regime. Our hearts are with the Warmbier family for their strength and courage. We will never forget Otto.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 28, 2019
"I just don't understand why you'd even get into this and make it sound like in any way you're siding with Kim and saying that he's somehow to be held blameless for what happened to Otto Warmbier," Wallace said.
Watch more from Wallace above, and see Kellyanne Conway's reaction to the Warmbiers' statement below.