Trump Attacked for N. Korea Remarks, But Liberals, Media Okay With Similar Words by Truman, Clinton

By Gage Cohen | August 10, 2017 | 12:22pm EDT

Democratic President Harry Truman

and Republican President Donald


( – Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Democrat lawmakers, and many members of the media were quick to criticize President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” remarks towards North Korea, they were wrong to suggest that no other U.S. president had used such tough rhetoric about another country.

For instance, comments made by Democratic President Harry Truman, after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, were arguably much harsher than what Trump said.

On Tuesday, in response to Communist North Korea threatening to bomb the island of Guam where U.S. troops are stationed, President Trump said, “North Korea best not make anymore threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury, like the world has never seen.”

“He [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening, beyond a normal statement,” said Trump.  “And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power - the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

North Korean Communist dictator Kim Jong-un.  (Mobile conservative/screenshot) 


CNN anchor Jake Tapper criticized the president’s statement, saying “this is a time when words should be chosen and measured carefully. The White House sources tell us that the president spoke extemporaneously when he made that statement about ‘fire and fury.’ Perhaps now might not be the best time to improvise.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also disapproved of Trump’s remarks during an interview on KTAR radio.

"I take exception to the president's comments because you gotta’ be able to do what you say you're going to do…. In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt's saying, which I think is something that should've applied because all it's going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation,” said McCain, who is a strong opponent of President Trump.

“I think this is very, very, very serious,” he said. “The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act…. It's the classic Trump in that he overstates things.”

In addition, many Democrats attacked the president’s comments. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that, "President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments,” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Trump’s “fire and fury” quote “reckless rhetoric.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) concurred with her Democrat colleagues, going as far as to say that the president’s remarks “demonstrates weakness” and are “recklessly belligerent.”

However, former Democratic Presidents Harry Truman and Bill Clinton have made similar and even stronger comments during times when the security of the United States was being threatened.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

(CNN Political Ticker) 

In 1993, The New York Times reported: “On his weekend visit to South Korea, President Clinton warned that if North Korea developed and used an atomic weapon, ‘we would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate.’ ‘It would mean the end of their country as they know it,’” he said.
Democratic President Truman also used harsh language in 1945 when facing the ongoing threat posed by Japan.

“It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East,” said Truman in a statement on August 6, 1945, after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  (The second bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945.)

“We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city,” said Truman, the only U.S. president to order a nuclear strike on largely civilian targets. “We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war.”

President Bill Clinton and then-North Korean Communist dictator

Kim Jong-il in January 2001.  (North Korean News Agency)

“If they do not accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth,” said Truman.  “Behind this air attack will follow sea and land forces in such number and power as they have not yet seen and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware.”

Neither McCain, Feinstein, Pelosi, Tapper, or other members of the liberal media have said the comments by Clinton and Truman were too harsh or dangerous. 

MRC Store