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) MalinowskiUS Chamber targets more House Democrats with ads opposing .5T bill Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations Pandora Papers: 4 takeaways from massive leak of world leaders' finances 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 TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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 CollinsEmanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter Rachel Levine sworn in as first openly transgender four-star officer in health corps 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 PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit 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.