Dems rip Trump concessions, 'embarrassing' rhetoric with Kim

Democrats are calling President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE's praise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "embarrassing" while criticizing him for offering concessions in exchange of vague promises from Pyongyang.

“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo," House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Overnight Health Care: Average daily COVID infections topped last summer's peak, CDC says | US reaches 70 percent vaccination goal a month after Biden's target | White House says CDC can't renew eviction ban Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban MORE (D-Calif.) said in a scathing statement.

She said Trump had handed Kim concessions in return for “vague promises” and no “clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation.”

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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) also ripped Trump, saying on the Senate floor that the U.S. has “legitimized a brutal dictator.” 

“It is worrisome, very worrisome that this joint statement is so imprecise,” Schumer said. “What the U.S. has gained is vague and unverifiable at best. What North Korea has gained, however, is tangible and lasting ... We've legitimized a brutal dictator who's starved his own people," Schumer said. 

Other Democrats were even harsher in their criticism.

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzGyms, hotels, bus companies make last-ditch plea for aid On The Money: Stocks fall as COVID-19 fears rattle market | Schumer sets infrastructure showdown | Dems struggle to sell agenda The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics MORE (D-Hawaii) said Trump's actions represented “an abdication of American leadership."

"Just embarrassing,” Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote in a tweet.

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenOmar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia Trump says being impeached twice didn't change him: 'I became worse' Five big questions about the Jan. 6 select committee MORE (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch MORE (D-Conn.) were incredulous over Trump's choice of words.

Pointing to North Korea's long record of abusing its own citizens, Cohen questioned how Trump could talk of Kim loving his country.

Murphy said Trump was legitimizing North Korea's human rights abuses and faulted Trump for agreeing to end military exercises or "war games" with South Korea while talks with the North continue.

"U.S. gives up one of our biggest negotiating chips - military exercises. North Korea ends up BACKTRACKING on previous promises on denuclearization. What the hell?" Murphy tweeted. 

Trump after the summit called Kim a "very talented man" who "loves his country very much," adding that it was an "honor" to meet the North Korean leader. 

“A worthy negotiator ... a very worthy, very smart negotiator. We had a terrific day and we learned a lot about each other and our countries,” Trump said. 

The president's remarks were surely intended to set the table for fruitful negotiations aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but they left him open to charges of hypocrisy given his own tough past rhetoric toward Kim.

U.S. college student Otto Warmbier died last year after being abused during a 17-month detention in North Korea.

But when he was asked about human rights abuses on Tuesday, Trump downplayed them, saying abuses happen in “a lot of places."

“I believe it's a rough situation over there,” Trump said during a press conference. “It's rough in a lot of places, by the way, not just there.”