Dem lawmaker to introduce bill blaming Kim Jong Un for Otto Warmbier's death

Dem lawmaker to introduce bill blaming Kim Jong Un for Otto Warmbier's death

Rep. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiSecond Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey Democrats call for Pelosi to cut recess short to address white nationalism MORE (D-N.J.) announced Friday he intends to introduce a bill officially blaming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the death of U.S. student Otto Warmbier. 

“I’ll be introducing a bipartisan resolution next week affirming that Congress holds Kim Jong Un responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier,” Malinowski tweeted.

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE sparked a furor when he said he believed Kim was unaware of Warmbier’s treatment.

The student was detained in North Korea for allegedly taking a poster while studying there in 2016. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor but returned to the United States in a comatose state in 2017 and died shortly after. 

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“He tells me he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word,” Trump said Thursday during a denuclearization summit with Kim.

Republicans on Capitol Hill were quick to pan the remark, expressing skepticism that the North Korean leader was unaware of the circumstances around a high-profile prisoner.

“I personally find that statement extremely hard to believe,” said Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' re-election would go well if she runs Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (R-Maine).

“We can’t be naive about what they did to Otto, about the brutal nature of the regime that would do this to an American citizen,” Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Shaken Portman urges support for 'red flag' laws after Ohio shooting MORE (R-Ohio) warned. “I can’t tell you specifically who was knowledgeable of it but I would assume it goes straight to the top.” 

Trump backtracked his statements Friday, saying he had been “misinterpreted” and that he “of course” holds North Korea accountable for Warmbier’s death.