Dems rip Trump concessions, 'embarrassing' rhetoric with Kim

Democrats are calling President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care: White House projects grim death toll from coronavirus | Trump warns of 'painful' weeks ahead | US surpasses China in official virus deaths | CDC says 25 percent of cases never show symptoms 14 things to know for today about coronavirus Hillicon Valley: Trump, telecom executives talk coronavirus response | Pelosi pushes funding for mail-in voting | New York AG wants probe into firing of Amazon worker | Marriott hit by another massive breach 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell launches ad touting role in passing coronavirus relief Joe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus 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 SchatzLawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Trump faces mounting pressure to unleash Defense Production Act Rand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate 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 CohenMemphis congressman asks Tennessee, neighboring states to issue shelter-in-place orders Centrist Democrats insist Sanders would need delegate majority to win Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union MORE (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner 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.”