President Trump said Friday no money was paid to North Korea for American college student Otto Warmbier following a report that the U.S. footed the bill for his medical care.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else. This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terroist [sic] hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl,” Mr. Trump tweeted, referring to Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who was held captive in Afghanistan in 2009 after he deserted his post.
Minutes later, he tweeted alleged praise for his hostage negotiations but did not provide a source for the quote.
“‘President Donald J. Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States. 20 hostages, many in impossible circumstances, have been released in last two years. No money was paid.’ Cheif [sic] Hostage Negotiator, USA,” he said.
Mr. Trump also told reporters on the White House South Lawn that the U.S. “did not pay money for our great Otto. I haven’t paid money for any hostage.”
He also called the student’s case “very unusual.”
Warmbier was held in North Korea’s prison system for 17 months before being sent to the U.S. June of 2017 in a comatose state, dying six days later.
North Korea has denied any accusations that Warmbier died as a result of the torture he received, instead saying he had an allergic reaction to a sedative.
Warmbier’s parents won a lawsuit against Kim Jong-un’s regime last year for his wrongful death.
The U.S. court ordered North Korea to pay $500 million in damages, but the Warmbiers are unlikely to see that money.