President Trump on Tuesday said he’s willing to meet with dictators if doing so would be useful for the United States.
“When I meet with the leaders of countries as they come in — kings, and queens and prime ministers, and presidents and dictators — I meet them all,” Trump said in a speech at the New York Economic Club.
“Anybody wants to come in,” he added. “Dictators, it’s OK. Come on in. Whatever’s good for the United States. We want to help our people.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 12, 2019
The comments followed Trump’s claim to the gathering of Wall Street executives and business leaders in Manhattan that foreign leaders approach him all the time to congratulate him on the state of the U.S. economy.
Trump has repeatedly praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for his leadership and touted their personal relationship, despite Kim’s track record of human rights abuses that include starving and torturing his own people.
Trump boasted in July about his ability to make Kim smile.
“You have a man that was so happy to see me. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump told reporters.
“You have a man that doesn’t smile a lot, but when he saw me, he smiled. He was happy,” he continued. “You have a man that when I came into office all he was doing before was testing nuclear weapons… and now he’s not doing it.”
Trump has previously called him a “smart cookie” and told a crowd last year that he “fell in love” with the dictator.