Jealous of Kim, Trump Wants Americans to “Sit Up in Attention” When He Talks Too

The president later tried to walk it back as just a silly joke about dictatorship.

Vague pledges of denuclearization and a disturbing military salute aren’t the only eyebrow-raising results to have emerged from President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week.

The high-stakes meeting is apparently now serving as inspiration for Trump, who told Fox News’ Steve Doocy outside the White House Friday morning that he desires the same brand of dictatorial effect Kim has on repressed North Korean citizens. In detailing his envy, Trump described Americans as “my people”—a signal the president may already be attempting to emulate Kim, one of the world’s most notorious dictators.

“He’s the head of a country, and I mean he’s the strong head—don’t let anyone think anything different,” Trump said while floating the possibility that Kim could be invited to the White House soon. “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

The statement echoes remarks Trump gave during an interview shortly after the summit concluded, where he commended the “great fervor” Kim strikes among North Koreans. He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.”

Shortly after the Fox News interview aired, Trump tried to brush his statement off as joke. “You don’t understand sarcasm,” he told reporters. The attempt at humor, as the president claimed, would be hard to detect for a president with a disturbing record of praising the world’s dictators and strongmen.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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