White House press secretary Sarah Sanders rejected questions about President Trump’s mental fitness after he taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over his ability to launch a nuclear strike against the rogue regime and said instead Americans should be worried about Kim Jong Un’s mental capacity.
“I think the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea. He's made repeated threats. He’s tested missiles time and time again for years, and this is a president who is not going cower down and is not going to be weak and is going to make sure he does what he's promised to do, and that's stand up and protect the American people,” Sanders said Wednesday during the White House press briefing.
Trump responded to a statement from an address Kim Jong Un delivered on New Year’s Day, during which the leader of the rogue regime said it’s “not a mere threat but a reality that I have a nuclear button on the desk in my office.”
In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump touted the United States’ nuclear capabilities.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump tweeted.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
The president’s tweet earned him condemnation from Democrats in the House and the Senate, as well as pundits who questioned Trump’s fitness for office.
But Sanders said Trump’s tweet demonstrates his commitment to protecting Americans and the country.
“I don’t think that it’s taunting to stand up for the people of this country. I think what's dangerous is to ignore the continued threats,” she said. “If the previous administration had done anything and dealt with North Korea, dealt with Iran, instead of sitting by and doing nothing, we wouldn't have to clean up their mess now.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly said all options are on the table for dealing with North Korea, including a military option. However, administration officials have said it’s an option they would rather not use.