NJ Rep. Malinowski Will Not Introduce Otto Warmbier Resolution
WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-NJ, will not introduce a resolution holding North Korean President Kim Jong Un responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier.
The issue of responsibility was raised during President Donald Trump's summit last week in Vietnam, during which the president said he took Kim at his word that he was unaware of the brutal mistreatment of Warmbier.
Malinowski, a freshman Democrat who represents New Jersey's 7th Congressional district, said on his Twitter account last Friday that he would be "introducing a bipartisan resolution affirming that Congress holds Kim Jong Un responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier."
When the president "fails to say the right thing on behalf of our country, the Congress has to step up and do its duty together," Malinowski told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell.
Warmbier family spokeswoman Amanda Osbourne told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Malinowski met with the family, who asked that the resolution not go forward. Malinowski now appears to be honoring that request, according to Osbourne, who did not disclose a reason for the request.
Otto Warmbier had been visiting North Korea with a tour group when he was detained. A court there sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor for the alleged offense of stealing a propaganda poster. The University of Virginia student was returned home in a vegetative state and died in June 2017. His parents say he was tortured.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier, who have been supportive of Trump in the past, said on Friday that "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."
Trump later attempted to explain his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.
"I'm in such a horrible position because in one way I have to negotiate. In the other way, I love Mr. and Mrs. Warmbier and I love Otto. And it's a very, very delicate balance," Trump said.
Malinowski's office did not immediately return a message.