President and the Journal in a He-Said, They-Said – But President Seems to be Right

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President Trump criticized The Wall Street Journal this morning for mischaracterizing a comment he made about North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un last week.  After an interview the president had given the Journal, it was reported the president said he “probably” has a very good relationship with Kim.

“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” the Journal quoted the president as saying.  “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised,” he said.

But the president disputed the Journal’s account, writing on Twitter that he said “I’d [I would] probably have a good relationship…” with the North Korean Leader.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

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…

The Journal said it had agreed to terms with the White House before the interview that an audio recording taken by administration officials and reporters would be used for “transcription purposes only.”  But after the president challenged the accuracy of the Journal’s transcription, the paper decided to release the relevant portion of the audio.

In response, the White House also released its audio version of the quote.  The president seems to say, “I’d probably have a good relationship with Kim Jong-Un.”

Sarah Sanders on Twitter

Here is the official audio showing WSJ misquoting @POTUS https://t.co/wVwoafYkHg

President Trump has said in the past that talks with North Korea were a waste of time.  But he now seems to be more encouraging of the recent breakthroughs between the North and the South.  “If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity,” he recently told reporters at Camp David.

When asked during the interview with the Journal whether he has spoken directly to Kim Jong-Un, the president declined to comment. “I’m not saying I have or haven’t.  I just don’t want to comment,” he said.

 

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