Several Republican presidential candidates publicly denounced a social media post that former President Donald Trump made about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday. After North Korea was given a spot on the executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO), Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, and wrote, “Congratulations to Kim Jung Un!” – misspelling the leader’s name.

Opposition to Trump’s comment came from former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida).

Haley did not approve of North Korea’s addition to the WHO executive board, referring to it as a “total farce.” When asked about Trump’s comment, she stated that, “This is not something to play with. He’s a terrible individual. He’s terrible to his people, he’s terrible to our allies in the world, and I don’t think he deserves congratulations.”

Pence, who is expected to announce his presidential bid in the coming days, was disappointed by Trump’s post.


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“Nobody should be praising the dictator in North Korea,” Pence said. “This is a time when we ought to make it clear to the world that we stand for freedom and we stand with those who stand for freedom.”

Hutchinson took to Twitter to reject Trump’s congratulations on Kim Jong Un. He posted that the North Korean leader is a “tyrant dictator who should not be praised by Donald Trump for a leadership role in the World Health Organization. We sanction leaders who oppress their people. We do not elevate them on a world stage.”

DeSantis, who has officially announced his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election, has previously referred to Kim Jong Un as a “murderous dictator.” He was “surprised” by the former president’s post.

The backlash that Trump is receiving as a result of his Truth Social post is not new, as he has been criticized in the past for his relationship with Kim Jong Un. He is on record stating that he “developed a very, very good relationship” with the North Korean leader, and the two have been known to exchange what Trump refers to as “love letters.”

All four of the officials who condemned Trump’spost were in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday for Sen. Joni Ernst‘s (R-Iowa) annual “Roast and Ride” event.

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