Trump denies remark about KimU.S. President Donald Trump denied having said last Thursday he had a “very good relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during an interview with The Wall Street Journal, accusing the U.S. media outlet of intentionally distorting his words.
Trump, tweeting from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, wrote Sunday morning, “The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them ‘I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un’ (of N. Korea). Obviously I didn’t say that. I said ‘I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,’ a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters and they knew exactly what I said and meant. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!”
Trump’s tweet came hours after his White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, uploaded an audio file on her Twitter account under the message, “Here is the official audio showing WSJ misquoting @POTUS.”
Earlier the same day, Sanders posted an image with a red banner that read “FAKE NEWS” and read underneath: “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. FAKE NEWS IS AT IT AGAIN! FALSELY QUOTING PRESIDENT TRUMP.”
On why the Trump White House remained silent for three days before correcting the Journal, Sanders said they contacted the outlet Friday morning and asked for a correction, only to be rejected.
The Journal released its own recording of the interview on Twitter, saying it reviewed the audio as well as the transcript provided by an external service, and decided to stand by what it originally reported.
In the transcript, released last Thursday, Trump brags about having a “very good relationship” with Kim despite his past insults of the North Korean leader, calling himself a “very flexible person” who can build rapport with someone “all of a sudden.”
He added that he was proud of his “great relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said. I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know, I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea,” said Trump, according to the Journal’s transcripts.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [email@example.com]