US President Barack Obama chastised GOP frontrunner Donald Trump in a Friday evening press conference, criticising recent foreign-policy pronouncements the real-estate magnate made to The New York Times regarding Japan and South Korea.
“They tell us that the person who made the statements doesn’t know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean Peninsula or the world generally,” Obama said during the press conference, which came at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit attended by various world leaders in Washington, DC.
In the Times interview, which centered on Trump’s foreign policy, the business mogul said he’d be open to a nuclear-capable Japan and South Korea in exchange for the US easing up on security commitments.
Many national-security experts cast doubt on the effectiveness of Trump’s statements. They have cast his suggestion that he might , for instance, as a dangerous proposition with the propensity to fuel a regional or global nuclear arms race.
“It would be a free-for-all,” Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told Business Insider earlier this week. “It would be a giant science experiment that I would not want to see.”
Obama said world leaders brought up Trump’s remarks on the US’ major Asian allies “on the sidelines” during the summit.
“As I said before, people pay attention to American elections,” Obama said. “What we do is really important to the rest of the world. And even in those countries that are used to a carnival atmosphere in their own politics want sobriety and clarity when it comes to US elections.”
“They understand the president of the United States needs to know what’s going on around the world and put in place the kinds of policies that lead not only to our security and prosperity but will have an impact on everybody else’s security and prosperity,” he continued.
Obama isn’t the only Democratic leader who has been critical of Trump.
In a Thursday interview with Business Insider CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget, former Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton said world leaders have sent her “bewildered” messages after being asked about some of Trump’s recent remarks regarding his foreign policy views.
“They want to know what’s going on,” she said. “And the amount of publicity that he gets, the coverage that he gets — so he said some very ill-considered dangerous thing, and it’s around the world in a nanosecond.”