MSNBC host Chris Hayes had on Rep. Lee Zeldin on Tuesday night, and grilled the New York Republican over his praise of President Donald Trump‘s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — despite his criticisms of former President Barack Obama for the very same moves.
After pressing Zeldin on Trump’s fawning attitude toward Kim at the summit, Hayes played a Fox News hit of the congressman from 2015 in which he said Obama “doesn’t have to kiss the ring of Raul Castro” to “help oppressed Cuban people.”
“Do you understand why people feel like there’s maybe some bad faith or double standard here?” Hayes asked.
Zeldin said that the Cuban people “have long been oppressed,” and Hayes shot back: “So have the North Koreans.”
“Except, here, with regards to Cuba, we were making dozens of concessions and not getting any reciprocation,” Zeldin contended.
“But you were criticizing them sitting there as equals,” Hayes said, “that’s the whole point!”
“But President Trump wasn’t sitting down with Kim Jong Un and making dozens of concessions and not asking for anything in return,” Zeldin replied.
Hayes moved on to Trump’s warm words for the dictator, noting “I tend to think that talking is better than war, and I think it’s good that they met,” before asking Zeldin: “But you would agree it’s a crazy thing to say that Kim Jong Un loves his people, which is what the president said today?”
Zeldin sighed. “Yeah, there’s a relationship between Kim Jong Un and his people that is is certainly unique,” he said.
“Wait a second, congressman!” Hayes protested, to which Zeldin said, “no, let me get my point out.” He went on to argue that the North Korean people don’t believe the regime is responsible for the woes of the country.
“Congressman, honestly, you don’t think that it is fair to say that Kim Jong Un loves his people?” Hayes asked. “It’s the largest prison camp in the world. It’s a totalitarian state.”
“Wouldn’t you agree that’s a crazy thing to say, that Kim Jong Un loves his people?” the MSNBC host pressed.
Zeldin dodged, saying it “would be better for” Kim to “improve the lives of his people.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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