Several mainstream media commentators and reporters have made a habit of comparing President Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
The comparisons have been made for a long time but have picked up speed in recent days due to the escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States.
The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, who recently visited North Korea, made the comparison between the two men several times.
Appearing on CNN Tuesday, Kristof said, “So, I think that President Trump and Kim Jong-Un have a certain similarity that by their nature they tend to hit back very hard. They believe that they can intimidate the other. And, you know, this is what, I think, President Trump is trying to do when he talks about war. I don’t think he actually wants to have a war anytime soon, but I think he thinks he can force Kim Jong-Un to back down.”
Kristof also appeared on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams” Tuesday, saying, “Kim Jong-Un and Trump are both kind of similar, they intuitively escalate and that means that it becomes much, much harder to avert the collision that we’re on right now. And it also dramatically increases the tensions.” Kristof also said both men are “insecure.”
In another moment on CNN Wednesday, foreign policy pundit Jeffrey Lewis appeared on “CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin,” saying, “One of the very interesting features of this conflict is both the President and Kim Jong-Un seem to like to swear at each other.”
“They’re playing the same game,” Baldwin said.
“Yeah, they love this. So this is going to go back and forth with the rest of us held hostage,” Lewis said.
Baldwin added that due to Trump’s tough talk, North Korea believes “their country is winning the rhetoric war.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Wednesday, Joe Scarborough spoke to MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle about the current tensions with North Korea. Barnicle remarked that even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States and the Soviet Union were being led by “rational actors,” whereas now, Barnicle said, “I don’t think you can say comfortably, with any assurance, that today in Washington D.C. we have a rational actor.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski added, “We don’t.”
Barnicle didn’t remark on whether or not Kim Jong-Un was a “rational actor” or not.
In another bizarre TV moment, it wasn’t Donald Trump being compared to Kim-Jong Un, but instead it was Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
On Tuesday’s “MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle,” the host remarked, “[Graham] has been one of the Senate Republicans outspoken when it comes to criticizing President Trump. And this blew my mind, he just did a round of golf and tweeted what a great job he did. This is straight up Kim Jong-Un kind of antics. I mean tweeting the President shot a 73, big whoop.”
It also wouldn’t be the first time Morning Joe compared Trump to the North Korean dictator. Mika Brzezinski said in September that Kim Jong-Un was “equally potentially, you know, imbalanced and hard to predict” as President Trump was.
An MSNBC panel last week also contained the comparison between the two men, as the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson said, “We are at the ‘Dear Leader’ phase of America where he’s the dear leader or great leader. Those are your two options, and that’s the way you have to treat it if you hope to serve in the administration.”
Back in August, Matthew Dowd of ABC compared the two men, saying, “To me, if you read a paragraph in the beginning of the newspaper that said this: ‘A bellicose, threatening, emotionally immature, insecure leader did “X,”‘ a year ago would you have thought the President of the United States was that person or would you thought that the head of North Korea was that person?”
The comparisons don’t stop with television. In September, liberal TV personality Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Uhhhh. Kim Jung’s letter to @realDonaldTrump is a little bit more sane than @realDonaldTrump Maybe we trade?”
According to Human Rights Watch, North Korea has committed a number of egregious human rights abuses. The communist state has “effectively [enslaves] hundreds of thousands of citizens, including children, in prison camps and other detention facilities. Detainees face deplorable conditions, sexual coercion and abuse, beatings and torture by guards, and forced labor in dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions.”
Human Rights watch also reports that according to the United Nations, “…systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations committed by the [North Korean] government included murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, and other sexual violence, and constituted crimes against humanity.”