Team Trump tries to deflect news they agreed to $2 million payment for Otto Warmbier release

Everyone in the Trump “administration” lies about everything, all the time, reflexively, the end.

After the Washington Post learned that Donald Trump personally approved a promised $2 million to North Korea for the “medical care” of comatose American prisoner Otto Warmbier, Trump got predictably peeved and called the report “fake news.”

“There was no money paid,” Trump said. “That was a fake news report that money was paid. I haven’t paid money for any hostage.”

Except that the report didn’t claim the money had been paid. It only asserted that Trump approved the signing of a document promising the United States would pay the $2 million demanded by the North Koreans. And now the whole administration is trying to play a too-clever-by-half game of denying something that wasn’t claimed in an attempt to dodge responsibility for what was.

On Fox News Sunday, national security adviser (God help us all) John Bolton confirmed that the agreement happened while indignantly claiming the administration had “absolutely not” paid the money.

But he’s a liar, because on Sunday national security adviser (God help us all) John Bolton confirmed that the agreement happened. “That’s what I’m told, yes,” Bolton told Fox News Sunday. On Monday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indignantly repeated the same denying non-denial: “At no time in this administration have we paid for any hostages to be released, and we have no intention of doing so.”

Good to know! But it’s not what was reported. The Washington Post reported that the team sent to bring Warmbier back to the United States was presented with a $2 million bill, with the understanding that Warmbier was not going to be released unless it was agreed to. The decision on whether to sign the demand was bumped up the executive chain to Donald Trump himself, and Trump personally approved signing it. The story did not, however, say that the money had already changed hands.

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