President Donald Trump has described himself ‘as chief hostage negotiator’, who does not pay ransom to get hostages freed.
The American president was responding Friday to a report that he agreed to pay $2 million bill presented by North Korea to cover the medical costs for Otto Warmbier, an American college student, jailed for spying.
Warmbier later fell into a coma in North Korean custody.
He died shortly after returning to the US after spending 17 months in a Pyongyang prison.
“No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else,” Trump tweeted.
“This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terrorist hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl!”
Trump then tweeted a quote praising his hostage negotiation skills: “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 Hostage Negotiator, USA!” the president added, misspelling the word “chief.”
“We did not pay money for our great Otto,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn on Friday. “There was no money paid. There was a fake news report that money was paid. I haven’t paid money for any hostage.
“We don’t pay money for hostages,” he added. “The Otto case was a very unusual case but I just want to let you know no money was paid for Otto.”
Notably, Trump did not deny he agreed to the bill from North Korea.