To the relief of everyone, three hostages were released from North Korea and returned safely to the United States last night. To hear Donald Trump tell it, he used his superior negotiating skills to secure the release of the hostages from North Korea, after President Obama had haplessly tried and failed at the same task. But that’s not at all what happened.
For starters, two of the three individuals in question were taken hostage by North Korea during Donald Trump’s watch. In other words, Trump was flat out lying when he tweeted this: “As everybody is aware, the past Administration has long been asking for three hostages to be released from a North Korean Labor camp, but to no avail.” So right off the bat, this is yet another instance of Trump opportunistically and falsely blaming President Obama. It gets more egregious.
While President Obama was in office, North Korea released a double digit number of hostages to the United States. It’s long been part of a regular pattern in which North Korea periodically decides to briefly make nice with the U.S. So when the three hostages were released last night, it wasn’t anything unusual. While it’s a great thing, it is not a sign that Kim Jong Un has changed his ways, or that Donald Trump has managed to pull off anything out of the ordinary by bringing these three hostages home.
This is all before getting to the fact that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are both Russian puppets, and there is every reason to suspect that this sudden chumminess between Trump and Kim is being orchestrated by Vladimir Putin as a last ditch effort at saving Trump’s failed presidency. In any case, it can’t be stressed enough that North Korea routinely releases hostages to the United States. The only difference is that when it happened on President Obama’s watch, he didn’t brag about it or lie about it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report