Trump pays the hostage takers if he needs to
There is nobody on this earth who cares more about America being "screwed" financially by other countries than Donald Trump. Indeed, it is the entire basis of his "foreign policy" to the extent one exists at all. He hectors American allies constantly and the only complaints about adversaries hinge on how much it costs to oppose them. He basically sees America's role in the world as a paid enforcer.
It is, therefore, unsurprising that he would keep this a secret. It hurts "the brand."
North Korea issued a $2 million bill for the hospital care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, insisting that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay it before being allowed to fly the University of Virginia student from Pyongyang in 2017.
The presentation of the invoice — not previously disclosed by U.S. or North Korean officials — was extraordinarily brazen even for a regime known for its aggressive tactics.
But the main U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the medical bill on instructions passed down from President Trump, according to two people familiar with the situation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained — unpaid — throughout 2017, the people said. However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration later paid the bill, or whether it came up during preparations for Trump’s two summits with Kim Jong Un.
The White House declined to comment. “We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in an email.
I have no problem paying to return hostages. This amount of money is a drop in the bucket. But I think you can easily imagine what Trump would say if another American president had done such a thing, can't you?
Speaking of the bromance, this has to have Trump green with jealousy. Vlad got Kim in for a state visit and Trump had to cancel his invitation: