The president took a lot of heat yesterday after reports indicated that he approved a $2 million payment to North Korea to secure the release of Otto Warmbier, a political prisoner who eventually passed away after returning to the United States in a coma.
The payment was allegedly approved by the President Trump to pay for the medical care of Warmbier while in North Korean custody. There is no indication that the payment did, however, get paid.
Trump lashed out on Twitter this morning, refuting the claims that the United States ever did make such a payment to the rogue nation.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else. This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terroist hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl!“ he tweeted.
Trump then followed up with a quote from someone he called the “Cheif Hostage Negotiator” for the United States:
“President Donald J. Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States. 20 hostages, many in impossible circumstances, have been released in last two years. No money was paid.” Cheif Hostage Negotiator, USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2019
Besides the obvious misspelling of “Chief,” HillReporter.com did a public search for the quote, and there is no record anywhere on the internet of this actually being stated by anyone but the president himself.
To complicate matters even further, “Chief Hostage Negotiator” also does not appear to be a government or military position of any kind, not to mention the fact that Trump failed to put an actual name with the quote.
Could someone who acts as a hostage negotiator within the military or the government actually have made this statement? Absolutely. With that said, as of now, there is no public record of such.
We’ve reached out to the White House and Pentagon for clarification, but have yet to hear back.