President Trump during greets Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Photo: Kevin Lim/The Straits Times/Handout via Getty Images

In an interview with Fox News immediately after their summit in Singapore, President Trump seemed to dismiss North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's brutality, and instead lavished him in praise, calling him "a very smart guy" and "a great negotiator."

Why it matters: Trump's stunningly abrupt 180 is all part of his schtick. "There's no nuance with Trump," Axios' Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan write. "He oscillates between extremes, embracing and banishing people, even without real changes in their behavior."

The big quote, from Trump's interview with Fox News' Bret Baier:

“Hey, he’s a tough guy. When you take over a country—a tough country, tough people—and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”

Other memorable moments:

  • “I think we have a very good relationship. We understand each other.”
  • When pressed on Kim's human rights abuses: “Yeah, but so have other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
  • “I would love to get the military out [of South Korea] as soon as we can because it costs a lot of money and a lot of money for us ... I would like to get them home. I would like to, but it is not on the table right now. At the appropriate time, it will be.”
  • Following up on his statement that Russia should be back in the G-7: "You know, we spend probably 25 percent of our time talking about Russia and I said wouldn't it be better if they were here ... I'm not for Russia. I'm for the United States .. but yes I think we're better off with a G-8 than a G-7."
  • "I think I'd probably have a good relationship with [Vladimir Putin] ... If he were at that meeting [G-7 summit], I could ask him to do things that are good for the world, that are good for the country, that are good for him."

Go deeper: Inside Trump's playbook for dealing with foreign leaders, The Washington Post's deep dive on life in North Korea

Go deeper

How Trump's push to reopen schools could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Trump administration’s full-steam-ahead push to fully reopen schools this fall is on a collision course with the U.S.' skyrocketing coronavirus caseload and its decades-long neglect of public education.

Why it matters: Getting kids back to school is of paramount importance for children and families, especially low-income ones. But the administration isn’t doing much to make this safer or more feasible.

Coronavirus squeezes the "sandwich generation"

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As the coronavirus poses risks and concerns for the youngest and oldest Americans, the generations in the middle are buckling under the increasing strain of having to take care of both.

Why it matters: People that make up the so-called sandwich generations are typically in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and in their prime working years. The increasing family and financial pressures on these workers means complications for employers, too.

Why Scranton matters again in 2020

Biden and Clinton visit Biden's childhood home in Scranton in 2016. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The hometown of Joe Biden and "The Office" is polishing its perennial status as a guidepost for the nation's political mood.

Driving the news: Biden returns to Scranton, Pa., today with a campaign stop just outside the city limits at a metalworking plant, where he'll deliver remarks on a plan to create jobs and "help America build back better."