Republican Sen. Joni Ernst on Sunday pushed back on President Trump’s claim that he isn’t worried about North Korea’s ballistic missile testing this month.
Speaking on CNN’s “Late Edition,” the Iowa senator said that while she understood Trump’s desire to continue to negotiate with the rogue nation, she also worried about the launches, noting that Japan has a reason to be worried as well.
“I find them very disturbing and certainly wouldn’t trust Kim Jong Un. So, I think we need to keep our eyes on North Korea,” she said. “I understand the president wants to maintain a relationship with North Korea so that we can work with them. However, those strikes are disturbing.”
“I think Japan does have reason to be concerned, and I am concerned as well. We need to see North Korea back off of those activities, and we need to take a very strong stance on that. Understanding the president has a job to do in negotiating but we do need to push back on North Korea,” Ernst added.
The comments come after Trump brushed off ballistic missile testing by North Korea while in Japan on Sunday. The president tweeted that the testing didn’t disturb him and used North Korean propaganda to knock former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic presidential candidate.
“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” he said.
North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
May 26, 2019
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., also blasted Trump’s comments from Japan.
“It’s Memorial Day Weekend and you’re taking a shot at Biden while praising a dictator. This is just plain wrong,” Kinzinger tweeted.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, took to Twitter to condemn the president’s remarks on North Korea. The frequent Trump critic said that the president was being used and manipulated by North Korea.
“The signal is this: If I flatter Trump and criticize his opponents, I can launch missiles and advance my nuclear program and he won’t do anything about it. How dangerous when a President can be so easily manipulated,” he said.