Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, got himself in a hot mess Friday evening, over a comment he made that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is acting more responsibly than President Trump, and has tried to retract the comment.
Ellison was speaking at the progressive NetrootsNation conference in Atlanta, and told attendees during a question and answer session that they need to ramp up their anti-war activism to combat the president’s “rhetoric.”
“North Korea is a serious thing,” Ellison said. “You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there. Kim Jong Un, the world always thought he was not a responsible leader; well, he’s acting more responsible than this guy is.”
“What I’m telling you is, once you start seeing missile launches, you’re going to… the time for cranking up an anti-war machine is right now. If you don’t want to be a deer in the headlights, start calling for diplomacy immediately.” he added.
Immediately after the session, Ellison tried to retract his comments in an interview with the Washington Post, saying he wished he hadn’t said it.
“That was one of those I wish I’d not said,” Ellison told the Washington Post. “It’s tailor-made for somebody to misuse. I’d say, he’s being incredibly irresponsible, and he’s putting us in a situation where you could have an accidental launch. I mean, his rhetoric might make Kim Jong Un think that he needs to strike first. What we need is someone bringing calm to the situation, not spiking it.”
Ellison’s claim that the North Korean dictator was acting more responsibly than Trump drew outrage. Michael Ahrens, speaking on behalf of the Republican National Committee, fired off a video of Ellison’s comments, saying, “With radical beliefs like these, Democrats need to decide whether Keith Ellison deserves to speak for their party going forward.”
With radical beliefs like these, Democrats need to decide whether the DNC’s Keith Ellison deserves to speak for their party going forward. https://t.co/KNcFVZm6Pt
— Michael Ahrens (@michael_ahrens) August 11, 2017
The comment was in response to President Trump’s warning to North Korea, that they would be met with “fire and fury, the likes of which this world has never seen,” if they launch a missile attack at Guam, the United States, or any of its allies. Meanwhile, the governor of Guam has praised Trump for his tough response.
Hear Ellison’s remark praising Kim Jon Un below:
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