Many 2020 Democrat presidential candidates have lined up to criticize President Trump’s historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at the DMZ, claiming the unprecedented event was nothing more than a photo-op.
Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Tim Ryan, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro have all condemned Trump’s meeting with Kim on Sunday using the same “photo op” talking point.
“I don’t have a problem with him sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries, I don’t want it to be a photo opportunity. We need real diplomacy,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders says he has "no problem" with Pres. Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un, adding: "I don't want it simply to be a photo opportunity… we need to move forward diplomatically, not just do photo opportunities." https://t.co/m8AMbWGcnF pic.twitter.com/l05YM3EEiC
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2019
Biden’s campaign released a statement, accusing Trump of “coddling” Kim, and “diminishing us on the world stage.”
“President Trump’s coddling of dictators at the expense of American national security and interests is one of the most dangerous ways he’s diminishing us on the world stage and subverting our values as a nation,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said.
Pocahontas accused Trump of “squandering American influence” by meeting with Kim.
Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator. Instead, we should be dealing with North Korea through principled diplomacy that promotes US security, defends our allies, and upholds human rights. https://t.co/9ROpNfjYbY
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 30, 2019
Harris said Trump should take denuclearizing the Korean peninsula “seriously.”
“This President should take the North Korean nuclear threat and its crimes against humanity seriously. This is not a photo-op. Our security and our values are at stake,” she tweeted.
This President should take the North Korean nuclear threat and its crimes against humanity seriously. This is not a photo-op. Our security and our values are at stake.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 30, 2019
Castro said Trump’s historic DMZ meeting was “all for show” and “not substantive.”
NEW: Former Obama HUD secretary Julián Castro says Pres. Trump is "raising the profile… of a dictator" with visit to Korean DMZ.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2019
Klobuchar mocked the meeting, saying Trump was trying to get friendly with the “dictator next door.”
“We want to see a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a reduction in these missiles but it’s not as easy as just going and, you know, bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door,” Klobuchar said.
2020 presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar on President Trump and Kim Jong Un meeting: “We’ve seen a history here, especially in this case, where Donald Trump announces these summits and nothing really comes out of it” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/9dORsNOFsR
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 30, 2019
Ryan said Trump meeting Kim at the DMZ was simply an “appeasement tour.”
The Democrats are frustrated that former President Obama failed to make any kind of inroads with the North Korean dictator during his eight years in office, and are struggling to explain how Trump managed to ease tensions with the hermit kingdom in only two years.
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Alex Jones, Owen Shroyer, Robert Barnes and Harrison Smith cover the first Democratic debate of 2019.