Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images
President Trump, speaking outside his New Jersey golf club while on a working vacation, said on Thursday that his earlier promise of “fire and fury” against North Korea “maybe wasn't tough enough.”
“If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous,” Trump said while addressing reporters on Thursday. “They should be nervous. Things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”
The president pushed back on a question of whether the administration is sending the American public mixed messages about the situation with North Korea.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Wednesday echoed Trump's strong language, saying North Korea needs to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson provided a calmer message, saying that Americans should “sleep well at night” and “have no concerns” over the threat of attacks from North Korea.
On Thursday, Trump said “there are no mixed messages,” coming from the administration.
“It’s about time someone stood up for the people of our country,” he said, adding that his statements were backed up 100% by the military.
He went on to criticize former president Bill Clinton for being “weak and ineffective” with North Korea, and former president Barack Obama for not wanting “to talk about it.”
“North Korea better get their act together,” Trump said. “They are going to be in trouble like a few nations have been in trouble in this world.”