Chris Hayes asks GOP lawmaker about criticism of Obama and praise for Trump

MSNBC host Chris Hayes tangoed with Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinTrump allies want Congress to find anonymous op-ed author House Republicans ask Trump to declassify Carter Page surveillance docs Biographer criticizes Republicans for using Pat Tillman's memory to attack Kaepernick MORE (R-N.Y.) on Tuesday night over how President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE has been praised by many Republicans for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while former President Obama was criticized by some in the GOP, including Zeldin, for his opening to Cuba.

Hayes showed a clip of Zeldin, a prominent Trump supporter, criticizing Obama for kissing "the ring" of Cuban leader Raúl Castro in a 2015 Fox interview. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Do you understand why people feel like there is some bad faith and double standard here?" Hayes asked Zeldin. 

Zeldin responded that the Cuban people "have long been oppressed."

"So have the North Koreans," Hayes interjected. 

"Except here with regards to Cuba, we were making dozens of concessions, and not getting the reciprocation," Zeldin said, criticizing Obama's policies.

"You would agree that it's a crazy thing to say Kim Jong Un loves his people, which is what the president said today," Hayes said later in the interview. 

"Yeah, there's a relationship that goes on between Kim Jong Un and his people that is certainly unique," Zeldin replied. 

"The North Korean people believe that the troubles that they face are not in spite of Kim Jong Un," he continued. "It would be better to do what he can, and there's a lot more that he can do to improve the lives of his people."

"That I think we agree on," Hayes responded. 

Trump and Kim held their historic summit on Tuesday, ending it with an agreement to denuclearize the Korean peninsula that left details to be worked out. Trump conceded to ending joint war games with South Korea while the negotiations continue.

Democrats, many of whom praised Obama for his opening to Cuba, have largely criticized the Trump-Kim summit, arguing the president raised the image of North Korea and gave Kim a propaganda victory.

But there have been voices of dissent within both parties.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.), who finished second to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, released a favorable statement about the Trump-Kim summit.

"While very light on substance, the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore represents a positive step in de-escalating tensions between our countries, addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and moving toward a more peaceful future," Sanders said. 

"Congress has an important role to play in making sure this is a meaningful and serious process and not just a series of photo ops," he added.

And some Republicans such as Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Coulter mocks Kavanaugh accuser: She'll only testify 'from a ski lift' Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R-Ariz.) backed Obama's changes to Cuba policy.

--Updated at 9:40 a.m.