Donald Trump is facing some heat Thursday after he went against presidential norms by saluting a North Korean general.
“I’m not trying to be gratuitous or unfair but isn’t saluting a General from an enemy military sort of a big deal?” tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
North Korea’s state news channel on Thursday was the first to broadcast a 42-minute video from Trump’s meeting this week with Kim Jong Un. In a clip shared by the BBC, Trump is shown meeting various North Korean officials, including a North Korean military general.
The general first salutes Trump, to which the president salutes back, before shaking his hand. Kim is seen smiling in the background.
“To no one’s surprise, North Korea used our President for their propaganda campaign,” tweeted Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), calling it “nauseating” to see the salute after Trump had just bashed traditional U.S. allies days earlier over trade disputes at a G-7 meeting.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the action Thursday afternoon, calling it “a common courtesy,“ adding that “when a military official from another government salutes … you return that.”