Today President Donald Trump expressed admiration for how much the people of North Korea "love" their despotic supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, because when he speaks they "sit up at attention."
Then, he said it would be great if we Americans would do the same for him.
"He's the head of the country," Trump said Friday during a live interview. "And I mean he's the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different."
"He speaks and his people sit up at attention," Trump added. "I want my people to do the same."
Trump later told reporters at the White House he was really just joking.
"I was kidding," he said. "You don't understand sarcasm."
The fact that North Korea has perpetuated human rights abuses for decades, according to watchdog agencies, human rights groups and the US government, doesn't bother Trump.
"I can't speak to that," he said. "I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement."
CNN reports that In his first five years in power, Kim has ordered 340 people to be executed. About 140 were senior officers in government and military, according to a 2016 report from the Institute for National Security Strategy, a South Korean think tank.
In June 2016, a top education official was executed by firing squad after he exercised a "bad attitude" at the country's Supreme People's Assembly. Kim's defense minister was executed in May 2015 with an anti-aircraft gun at a Pyongyang military school, before an audience.
Whether his remark was meant as a joke or not is immaterial. It reflects Trump's attitude and his admiration for despotic leaders like Kim and Putin.
Make no mistake about it, Trump would like to have absolute power just as they do and not have to worry about a troublesome Congress, meddlesome political opponents, a truth-telling news media, or voters determined and committed to his defeat.