- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence’s reaction to the three U.S. prisoners released by North Korea this week reminds David Axelrod of someone: Kim Jong-un.

One of former President Obama’s senior advisers told Twitter followers early Thursday that Mr. Pence’s reaction to ex-captives arriving at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, was something he would expect from police state overseers. His reasoning: the vice president said he would never forget hearing their “expressions of support for @POTUS, their gratitude to the Country & for the prayers of the American people” for the rest of his life.

“Everyone should cheer the return of the hostages,” Mr. Axelrod said. “I do. But it was strange that the first thing the @VP said was that he was moved by their ‘expression of support for the @POTUS.’ It’s like North Korea is rubbing off on HIM.”

Mr. Trump’s diplomatic success story came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea for the second time since Easter weekend.

“I think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful,” Mr. Trump said of future talks with North Korea. “My proudest achievement will be — this is part of it — when we denuclearize that entire peninsula.”

A statement released by the freed detainees upon their arrival in the U.S. read in part: “We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home.”

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