The governor of the U.S. territory of Guam, which has been threatened by North Korea, said he feels safer than ever with President Donald Trump in charge of U.S. forces.
“Mr. President, I have never felt so safe as with you at the helm,” Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo told Trump in a phone conversation Friday evening.
During the conversation released as a video Friday on Calvo’s Facebook page, Trump reiterated his commitment to defending Guam, and all U.S territories, in the event North Korean President Kim Jong-un follows through on his threats.
Calvo bemoaned the lack of unity that Washington D.C. has shown in responding to North Korea’s increased testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“I wish there would be less partisanship up there,” Calvo said. “This is a time of threats to the United States. It shouldn’t be Democrats and Republicans, it should be everybody uniting around our president.”
Trump has been accused of aggravating Kim Jong-un with his bold statements that any threats against the U.S. or its territories will be met with “fire and fury,” and that the military is “locked and loaded” should North Korea initiate an attack.
New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, a ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told CNN host Kate Bolduan that Trump’s statements sound like something Kim Jong-un would say.
“The President has to act like the President of the United States, when you hear words come out of his mouth it seems like they could come out of the mouth of Kim Jong-un,” Engel said. “That’s not what we want.”
Republicans have also criticized Trump for his choice of words in responding toward North Korea. “It’s a difficult challenge, and I hope the president, which he is not now [doing], would be very careful about the language he uses,” Arizona Sen. John McCain said during a Facebook town hall Thursday.
The recent threats by Kim Jong-un against the U.S. puts Guam, a critical base of Pacific operations for America’s Air Force and Navy, at the forefront of a potential conflict. North Korea recently conducted two tests of an intercontinental ballistic twice that are believed to have great enough ranges to reach cities across the continental U.S.
During the past week, Kim threatened to fire intermediate-range ballistic missiles towards Guam, and Trump responded harshly in a series of public statements.
“If he utters one [overt] threat … or if he does anything with respect to Guam, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast,” Trump said Friday.
Trump reiterated on the call with Calvo that “we are with you 1,000 percent. You are safe.”