Photo: Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images

President Trump said early Thursday North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un "felt very badly" about the death of Otto Warmbier and only learned of what happened to the U.S. student afterward.

Details: Trump said after his summit with Kim he took him "at his word" when asked about Warmbier, who was allegedly tortured by North Korean officials while in prison for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. Warmbier died after he was returned to the U.S. in 2017 in a vegetative state.

  • “I don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen," Trump said of Kim. "I don’t believe he knew about it. He felt very badly about it, I did speak to him, he knew about it, but he knew about it after ... Big country, a lot of people in those prisons and the camps, there are some bad people."

The big picture: Commentators likened Trump's remarks to previous expressions of admiration for political strongmen including Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 19,705,715 — Total deaths: 727,984 — Total recoveries — 11,963,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,022,187 — Total deaths: 162,696 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020 — Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.

Blumenthal calls classified briefing on Russian interference "absolutely chilling"

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) called on the Trump administration to declassify intelligence detailing Russian efforts to influence the 2020 elections, telling MSNBC on Sunday that the classified briefing lawmakers received about the Kremlin's activities last week was "absolutely chilling."

The big picture: National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in a statement Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate" Joe Biden ahead of the election. China and Iran would prefer that Trump is defeated, according to Evanina.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths in 2020

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.