Trump: Kim Jung-un Is “Pretty Smart Cookie”

Today on Face the Nation, President Donald Trump said that he was not sure if North Korean Dictator Kim Jung-un is sane, but he is clearly “a pretty smart cookie” since he was able to hold and keep power at such a young age.  The statement has people around the world stunned since Jung-un has spent years killing people in a paranoid rage, including feeding people alive to animals or shooting them with anti-aircraft weapons.  One does not have to be smart to rule by terror.  You just have to be a murderous maniac.

In the interview, Trump said:

“People are saying, “Is he sane?” I have no idea. I can tell you this, and a lot of people don’t like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He’s dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others.’

‘And at a very young age, he was able to assume power,’ Trump continued. ‘A lot of people, I’m sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he’s a pretty smart cookie.”

 I am not sure what to make of the image of Kim taking over the family business from his father, but some have suggested that there is an unconscious comparison to Trump’s own life with a father in the same business.  I hope that is not true.  What is clear is that there is absolutely no indication of an intelligent design behind the disaster that is North Korea.  Kim has pushed his population to starvation while needlessly isolating his regime politically and militarily.  Now his very survival is in question.  Indeed, the most dangerous aspect of Kim is that what he is acting clearly against his own interest and certainly the interest of his country. Even China is cutting off supplies and support for Kim.   His “intellect” could now trigger World War III.
What is also clear is that it has not been an exercise of intellect but sheer inhumanity that has kept this moron in power.  He has simply terrorized everyone around him and killed anyone who could challenge him.  What is left is a bunch of cringing aides pretending to write down everything that Kim is saying on subjects ranging from weather forecasts to nuclear science.  That is not a sign of intelligence.
What do you think?

92 thoughts on “Trump: Kim Jung-un Is “Pretty Smart Cookie””

  1. Starting a new left column, but replying to Mark and tnash:

    Well, I must confess that I have no hope that America can in fact be made great again. Paul left no traces in Mordor–although he DID catch the imagination of lots of people, most of whom presumably voted for Trump.

    The point is that the worst people were able to reshape America after WWII, and they don’t like being called out for being the worst. They want everyone to think they are the best. David Rockefeller is finally roasting in Hell, thank God, and soon his protege Henry Kissinger will be joining him. Good times.

    No, we can’t wrest back the wonderfulness of America prior to what those horrible people did to it. I don’t suspect that Trump is actually delusional and so does not think it can actually be done. He can do marginal accomplishments to give us a taste of it–and he’s now learning that the monsters entrenched the new system sufficiently that the “swanp” cannot be drained. The CIA CAN’T be smashed into a thousand pieces. The military/industrial complex CAN’T be dismantled.

    But at least someone broke through the system. He can’t undo the sickening nightmare, but at least one of the monsters is not in charge. We can take comfort in that small pleasure.

    1. Patrick,
      I did not understand Ron Paul until I read the one book he recommended everyone to read: The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Those principles that are at the center of our founding aren’t gone. They still exist and they will always exist; just buried under decades of progressive sediment. The past 16 years and more importantly the last 8 years has proven the American idea isn’t lost quite yet. I see the election results as a confirmation of this. This is the 4th self-evident truth in action:

      “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

      The progressives are keenly aware of this and that has them terrified and hostile.

      1. Olly and Patrick…
        -Thirty years ago, Ron Paul said that “the Republicans are on,their way out as a major party”.
        In c. 30 years in Congress , Ron Paul sponsored over 600 bills.
        Of those 600, only one bill passed.
        He and William Devane are probably best known for hawking sales of gold and silver to retail investors.
        You state that “the wonderfulness of America before what these horrible people
        did to it can not be
        And that “the worst people were able to shape America after WWII.
        OK…were all of these “worst people” equally bad?
        Do you have a nostalgia for the good old days of WWII and the Great Depression?

          1. No, Olly
            – Thanks for posting it; I won’t have time to read through it for a while, but I’ll
            let you know when I’m done reading it.

        1. “Do you have a nostalgia for the good old days of WWII and the Great Depression?”


          I have have a nostalgia for the good old days of the Articles of Confederation. It has all been downhill ever since.

          Perhaps, we should never have broken away from Britain, even. Canada and Australia did fine without a war.

          Really, I wish William the Conquerer never invaded England. Ah, the good old days.

          But since the Articles were overthrown, and we have to endure life under the Constitution, we should at least admit that Lincoln tore it up, and Wilson stomped on the tatters. And Franklin Roosevelt created a new, socialist mockery in the vacuum.

          Nostalgia? Don’t make me laugh.

          1. Patrick……
            Your earlier statements like ” after WWII the worst people were able to reshape America” led me to believe that you were more fond of America’s leaders and circumstances prior to the end of WWII
            But since you now say that you prefer the Articles of Confederatioon and “must endure” life under the Constitution, I see no point in asking about specifics about how to “restore the wonderfullness of America”
            I don’t see a successful movement to scrap the Constitution and replace it with the Articles of Confederation.
            Not do I see a return of America to it’s pre-Revolutionary War status as a colony.
            There are realist political objectives that one can strive to achieve.
            And policy issues that can be debated.
            There is also pie-in-the sky glorification of, and desire for, totally unrealistic returns to a long-gone era.

            1. You miss the point. We can’t go back to the past and stop it. I wish William did not conquer England. But he did. I wish the Articles were not replaced. But they were. I wish Lincoln did not invade and destroy the South. But he did.

              We have to live with the world as we inherit it.

              But we also have to see the world honestly, if we are to be honest people. The past is real.

              That is, I can “glorify” a possible future where the former colonies were sovereign countries, a fantastic alternate world. But that didn’t happen. And it can’t be restored. Time has passed. Choices were made. Lincoln won. William conquered. We have to deal with the world as it is.

              But we don’t have to like it.

              1. Patrick…
                – I get the point….you jump around using post-WWII as the time when “the worst people reshaped America”.
                I ask if you preferred the period before, then you move the goalposts and start talking about the Articles of Confederation and the American colonial period.
                I get the point….that it is pointless to try to keep an exchange with you on track because you like to play games.

                1. No, my point is that from WWII to today a new system was implemented, unique and ugly (beneath the surface). It seemed nice, for us, because the US was the beneficiary. But it is a system of enslavement, a device that gradually tightens until it strangles.

                  You jumped to the notion that I long for who came before, which is the right thing to do, but you unwisely went to what IMMEDIATELY came before (the Depression and the war). I said no, our loss of freedom started with the Norman Invasion of England (if you want to get at the door of it), and then the possibly unwise rebellion against George III, but CERTAINLY the foolish overthrow of the Articles of Confederation. Lincoln’s horrible decision to invade and destroy the South sealed the deal, leading directly to Wilson and the nightmare that was Franklin Roosevelt.

                  Where would I turn back the clock to, if I could? The best compromise in my opinion would be to stick with the Articles. If we had done that, we would not have today the world that David Rockefeller and his chums crafted.

  2. Well let’s see, both Trump and Kim do the hair to distract from their bloated faces. Trump dyes his skin as well as his hair. Kim is not that narcissistic. All in all, two peas in a pod.

      1. Read Trump’s interview on Andrew Jackson:

        In an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito, our president-historian posits that the war might not have happened if only Andrew Jackson had still been around. The whole thing apparently could have been avoided if only we had a bona fide negotiator — someone more up to the task than Low Energy Abe Lincoln.

        Here’s the exchange, via Sirius XM’s P.O.T.U.S.:

        TRUMP: [Jackson] was a swashbuckler. But when his wife died, did you know he visited her grave every day? I visited her grave actually, because I was in Tennessee.

        ZITO: Oh, that’s right. You were in Tennessee.

        TRUMP: And it was amazing. The people of Tennessee are amazing people. They love Andrew Jackson. They love Andrew Jackson in Tennessee.

        ZITO: Yeah, he’s a fascinating…

        TRUMP: I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that — he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

        One glaring issue here: Jackson wasn’t really angry about what was happening with the Civil War, because he died more than a decade (1845) before it started (1861). (Jackson in 1832 and 1833 oversaw the Nullification Crisis, in which Jackson used the threat of military force to make South Carolina pay tariffs. The situation was eventually resolved but is viewed as a precursor to the Civil War.)

        But that small matter aside, this actually sounds pretty familiar for Trump. Just last week, in an interview with Reuters, Trump suggested there was really no reason for the Israelis and the Palestinians to have been fighting for all these decades.

        “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever. So we’re looking at that, and we’re also looking at the potential of going to Saudi Arabia.”

        No reason whatsoever! You know, besides the whole claim-to-the-very-same-holy-land thing. Minor details.

        What’s remarkable about this language is that it sounds like a lefty pacifist, and Trump is at the very same time talking about the prospect of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea. Apparently the Civil War and the long-standing Middle East conflict have just been lacking in diplomacy; North Korea may be beyond that.

        Historians with more academic experience than Trump have indeed asked this question about the Civil War often. It’s a hugely difficult one to answer, a century-and-a-half later. And to say it with the certainty Trump does — “you wouldn’t have had the Civil War” with Andrew Jackson — is just foolhardy.

        It’s also a question that unpacks all kinds of issues with slavery. It’s generally assumed that a deal to avert the Civil War would have included concessions to Southern states having to do with their right to own slaves — the central dispute of the Civil War. Is Trump saying he would have been okay with a more partial or gradual phasing out of slavery? Was there really a deal to be cut on that front? Or does he think Jackson, a slave owner himself, would have convinced the South to abandon slavery immediately, somehow?

        It’s also a highly questionable statement in the context of Trump’s own foreign policy. If the United States does have to get involved in a foreign conflict, Trump is opening himself up to suggestions that such conflicts could have been avoided if only he were a stronger negotiator. If Middle East peace isn’t attained by the time he leaves office, it will apparently be because he and adviser Jared Kushner simply weren’t Andrew Jackson.

        But mostly it’s just a completely bizarre claim that, once again, suggests a president who speaks loudly and confidently about things he simply doesn’t understand.


        There is less difference between Kim and Trump than you might think. That’s the spooky part. The only thing saving the US from this imbecile is the system of government. As dysfunctional as it is, it serves a purpose. Imagine Trump with a free rein. Just think Kim.

        1. “The only thing saving the US from this imbecile is the system of government.”

          And if you and your ilk would cease your hostility to that system it will continue to do what it has done since its ratification.

          1. Olly

            There are only two choices with this idiot in the White House, hostility or fear. The humor has dissipated given the seriousness of this catastrophe. Just listen to the fool, long enough, and you will start shaking as well.

            1. “There are only two choices with this idiot in the White House, hostility or fear.”

              There are plenty more choices, but that would require a worldview you do not possess. The proof of that is you do not see the catastrophe that played out the last 8 years. Your opinion on proper leadership and good governance for this country cannot be taken seriously until you demonstrate ANY ability to objectively measure it relative to our rule of law and separation of powers. And you’ve proven as myopic about such matters as any ideologue on this blog. You deserve your fear.

              1. Like Trump’s pal Duterte’s worldview….. Not a fan of the strongman concept of government that Trump seems to admire. Thank god we are protected by the constitution. btw, Most everything Trump has done has been done through executive orders.

                1. “Most everything Trump has done has been done through executive orders.”

                  If an EO unwinds a previous EO; is that bad or good? How would you know?

                  1. Does not matter….. It is furthering governing by executive order which cannot be considered a desirable thing in the long run.

                  2. Especially an EO authored by one of “those people”; amiright?

                    this is to Olly.

              2. Trump proved the adage that “anyone can grow up to be president.” He is a complete outsider, having never been groomed through the political molding process. He is familiar with dealing with those creatures, of course, otherwise he could never have built anything.

                The only people who hate and fear Trump are people who revere the political system as it has developed since WWII. He scoffs at it, mocks it, and makes fun of people who love it. This drives them crazy.

                But witness his rallies, where tens of thousands of “normal people” revel in the joy of another normal person taking the swells down, and you see the division. Last Saturday night encapsulated it perfectly.

                People who are horrified by Trump reveal which “tribe” they come from. People who delight in his refreshing contempt for what that “tribe” did to our way of life reveal who THEY are, too, when they laugh as they observe the consternation he causes.

                The monsters who have ruled us, for many decades, (that’s ALL of them–except Ron Paul) deserve to feel horrified terror that Trump outwitted the system, and stole their stupid game away from them. And the people who don’t like it that Trump did it, who are not a part of the machine but LIKE the machine, deserve to feel that bad, too.

                Some of us want America to be made great again. Some of us don’t.

                1. patrick

                  As a centrist, sometimes left, sometimes right, but above all a student of history, I welcome the mold being broken. Bernie Sanders would have won on that platform. However, regardless of the bluster, bellowing, and endless lies, you can’t make a President out of a Trump. He is simply not Presidential material irrespective of party affiliation. Trump is not learned in any field. His entire existence is akin to that of royalty. Prince Charles comes to mind. There is no there there. Completely the opposite of what he claims to be, he has done nothing but reinforce the oligarchical status quo, his biggest lie yet. Trump is the swamp.

                  Trump is just throwing out ideas and hoping that some will stick. He has no organization between the ears. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that Trump has been and continues to be so insecure he can’t stop campaigning, seeking ‘attaboys’, searching for validation. Trump will go down in history as the leader of all those who just wanted to bellow. Trump isn’t worth the fuel for one of his too frequent helicopter rides.

                    1. tnash – issac is not a centrist, but a far leftist. And Bernie would have been a lousy candidate against Trump.

                  1. Thanks, Issac! You demonstrated my point!

                    (In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t know the man, and we did not set this up. He, delightfully, volunteered to prove my argument.)

                  2. “As a centrist, sometimes left, sometimes right, but above all a student of history,”

                    Oh boy! That sentence is meaningless until you identify what your center is. And how in the world do you consider yourself a student of history with blind spots that are 8 years wide?

                2. Oh, the “homespun wisdom” card? I guess if I need a calf branded or a goat sheared, I’ll turn for advice to a farmer in BFE wherever who pisses off the side of his tractor while turnin’ the back 40. For running a modern, capitalistic, nation-state, I’ll look for persons who at least sat though Freshman micro and macro-economics and can identify the United States on a world map. It’s the 21st Century; the 50’s really weren’t that good; we are moving forward; and the wakeup call has been heard. This clown at least served a purpose–assuming we are able to avert World War III.

                  This is to patrick.

                3. Patrick…

                  – Maybe you can start a grassroots movement to draft Ron Paul.
                  As the only “non-monster” in your view, he may be the saviour you seek to “make America great again”.

              3. Olly,…
                Well, there is sulking and whining in addition to hostility and fear.
                When GOP opposition to Obama’s policies are labeled “Republican obstructionism”, hostility and fear are touted as the “only two choices” now in dealing with the executive branch.
                Blind, sanctimonious partisanship is on full exhibit in Isaac’s post.

  3. Metaphorically speaking President Trump’s statement is accurate.

    It is folly to underestimate the intelligences of tyrants. A lot of bad can be legitimately noted of Saddam, Amin, and others because they commit atrocities. But to remain in power using whatever means is possible, how ever reprehensible, requires at least a formidable amount of cunning to survive. They generate a regular supply of determined enemies.

    It is also folly to ascribe the president’s remarks as being envious or supportive of such ruthless measures the Kim regime engages. That is mostly projection based upon an underlying anger against Trump.

  4. You know, that’s like saying Hitler was a smart cookie for holding onto power as long as he did. That may or may not be true. He certainly was “successful” at being a homicidal dictator, but most people realize one should not compliment a maniacal threat to the safety of the globe.

    There are some things I like about Trump’s policies, and some that I don’t. But one of Trump’s main flaws is his penchant for dropping sound bites that will hang around the neck of his presidency in perpetuity. He seems to have a knack for saying just the absolute worst thing at times.

    Kim Jung-un is still in power because the system his grandfather created perpetuates his power.

    Personally, I find mocking the spoiled egomaniac intellectual child more satisfying:

    1. “Personally, I find mocking the spoiled egomaniac intellectual child more satisfying:”

      Personally, that is what you get to do (and have done). Personally, I find it satisfying that so many people get kerfuffled when Trump doesn’t fit the mold they’ve come to expect of a President.

      1. You know I was talking about mocking Kim Jong Un, not Trump, right?

        His critics are going to micro-analyze and jump on every inference and misstep that he makes. Even so, he could have crafted his analysis of Kim’s threat level better. Such as, it would be a mistake to assume he’s a fool and not take him seriously.

        This is why I’m happy not to be on the political stage or on TV. My extemporaneous prose would never hold up to public scrutiny. (I suffer from a persistent case of foot-in-mouthitis.)

        Trump has actually surprised me, in that I’ve agreed with him more than I ever predicted when he first threw his hat in the race. But I do not agree with his decisions or statements at all times.

        1. “You know I was talking about mocking Kim Jong Un, not Trump, right?”

          🙂 Absolutely! We have a long history of “carefully crafted” statements from our political class that often requires PSC’s to translate for us. I don’t think we are any better for it, especially with a media that refuses to translate without bias. I’m glad Trump makes people uncomfortable for the same reason Obama made people uncomfortable. It minimizes apathy and increases (hopefully) civics literacy. Now, that’s two legs of the self-government stool. Time will tell if his administration can undo the damage done by past administrations to the third leg; self-reliance.

          1. It troubles me that non biased civics is not typically taught in sufficient depth in school. It’s biased, with a skew towards the US as evil with anachronistically unbalanced history.

            I think self reliance is becoming more rare. I’m not sure how much one POTUS can do towards making it more culturally relevant. Either parents will make their kids ultra competitive in a snowflake world by instilling in them the motivation and ability to be self reliant, or those kids will be overwhelmed by neurotic bureaucrats as this generation somehow finds employment. And where else can they be employed than government? You know, measuring lawns, making homeowners take down flags and Christmas ornaments, and other red tape morass.

            1. “I think self reliance is becoming more rare. I’m not sure how much one POTUS can do towards making it more culturally relevant.”

              It would be multiple Presidents over multiple generations to shift our culture away from the dependency we have today. Look what it took for our founding generation to endure before they could possibly be convinced they had a right to self-government? The list of grievances in the DoI are not much different than what is happening today. The major difference today is we are expecting the very government that has created the civics ignorance, apathy and dependency in the people to lead the way in undoing that trifecta. It’s like asking the drug kingpin to educate the people about the risks of heroin and join the fight to get the people off the drugs. This effort will not succeed if we are waiting around for the political class to make it happen. The key will be in getting control of education away from the federal government if we are to stand any chance at all. If you want to easily identify the enemy of self-government, all you need to do is find out who is opposed to return the control of education to the states.

      2. Sure, that because astonishing ignorance combined with hair-raising incompetence is so cute and entertaining when displayed by a clown at a child’s birthday party. Oh, wait….

        This is to Olly.

        1. That doesn’t shine a very good light on the constituents of his main opponent in the general election. 🙂

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