Fox News host Tucker Carlson witnessed the historic meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Sunday, and shared his thoughts on “Fox & Friends.”
“Our president met with the North Korean leader, basically, with relatively few people watching. They kind of almost, like a movie scene, met after walking toward one another — actually to the border. They shook hands … then both of them came back and kind of stood there, about three feet away from us and talked,” he said.
CATCH TUCKER CARLSON’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP MONDAY ON ‘TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT,’ 8 PM ET ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL
“Kim struck me as — he’s a hard character. there’s no question about that — maybe a little off his game,” Carlson continued. “I don’t think he’s surrounded by people he doesn’t control very often – wheezing like an emphysema patient, not a healthy guy. But, basically, he struck me as kind of self-contained. Trump was about as happy as I’ve ever seen him because it really is something that hasn’t been done before and probably would not have been done without him, and his very different style of governing and thinking.”
Carlson, who said the DMZ felt like “the end of the earth,” continued to describe Kim’s apparent poor health and labored breathing.
“It really felt like we were at the end of the earth, the middle of nowhere, with kind of not many people around, standing in the middle of the street. It was very odd. And, I mean, right next to Kim. I mean could have touched him, that close,” he said.
“And, he was breathing like an emphysema patient. I’m not saying that to be insulting but he was breathing in a labored way like he was out of breath. And even allowing for the historic nature of it, which I’m sure played a role in his breathlessness, but my take as a non-physician was — this is a very unhealthy guy. Very unhealthy. I mean, maybe I’m wrong… but that was the first thing I thought. This guy is in very bad health.”
Carlson also said he believed Trump has been genuine in his relationship with Kim and claimed the president “dominated” and “towered over” the rogue state leader.
“I think it’s heartfelt … he’s not an admirer of the atrocities [Kim’s] committed obviously, but Trump thinks he’s a competent scrappy guy … and it can’t be easy to hold on to third generational power in a country like that where the ruling class is filled with 80-year-old generals … it takes a pretty hard man to keep a hold on power in a place like North Korea, so I think Trump respects his toughness,” he said.
“My sense … just standing there for an hour watching — I think he was probably a little bit overwhelmed by Trump who towers over him and who is a very large man,” Carlson added. “He seemed to kind of dominate him and there was a kind of magnetism and real aggression to Trump, so it didn’t feel exactly like peers. It felt like maybe an older brother-younger brother kind of situation.”
Carlson said it’s impossible to defend North Korea’s horrible track record on human rights and called it a “disgusting place,” but also offered the realist flip-side of the coin.
“There’s no defending the North Korean regime, which is a monstrous regime. It’s the last really Stalinist regime in the world. It’s a disgusting place, obviously, and so there’s no defending it,” he said.
“On the other hand, you’ve got to be honest about what it means to lead a country, it means killing people. Not on the scale that the North Koreans do, but a lot of countries commit atrocities including a number that we’re closely allied with.”
“I’m not a relativist or anything, but it’s important to be honest about that,” Carlson added.
“And, it’s not necessarily a choice between the evil people and the great people. It’s a choice most of the time between the bad people and the worse people. That’s just kind of the nature of life, and certainly the nature of power, and I do think that’s how the president sees it. He’s far less sentimental about this stuff and maybe, I think, more realistic about it.”
Carlson’s one-on-one interview with the president is set to air Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel.