Trump Tells People to Remember He Freed Otto Warmbier and 'Loves' Deceased Student

President Donald Trump has claimed that he loves Otto Warmbier and thinks "of him often" after he was slammed for accepting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's claim he was unaware of the deceased student's mistreatment by the regime.

Following a meeting with Kim in Vietnam on Thursday, Trump commented of the North Korean leader's knowledge of the mistreatment of 22-year-old student Warmbier: "He tells me he didn't know about it, and I take him at his word. I don't believe he would have allowed that to happen…It just wasn't to his advantage to allow that to happen."

But Trump's comments were widely panned by commentators, while Warmbier's family said no "excuses or lavish praise" could change the fact that Kim and the regime were responsible for their son's death.

Taking to Twitter on Friday night to defend the comments he made, Trump urged people to remember that Warmbier was returned to the US under his watch, adding that the Obama administration "did nothing" for the student.

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"I never like being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes to Otto Warmbier and his great family. Remember, I got Otto out along with three others. The previous Administration did nothing, and he was taken on their watch. Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto's mistreatment and death," Trump wrote late on Friday evening.

"Most important, Otto Warmbier will not have died in vain. Otto and his family have become a tremendous symbol of strong passion and strength, which will last for many years into the future. I love Otto and think of him often!" he added.

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College student Warmbier was returned to the US in a vegetative state in June 2017 after being imprisoned there in 2016, and died less than a week after his return.

Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, who in 2018 sued the North Korean government over its treatment of their son, on Friday added their voices to the chorus of people criticizing President Trump over his comments.

"We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that. Thank you," Warmbier's parents said in a statement, CNN reported.

Trump Tells People to Remember He Freed Otto Warmbier and 'Loves' Deceased Student | U.S.