President Trump says he and dictator Kim Jong Un have a chance to be good pals despite the schoolyard insults they hurl at each other and rising nuclear…
President Trump says he and dictator Kim Jong Un have a chance to be good pals despite the schoolyard insults they hurl at each other and rising nuclear tensions between North Korea and the US, a new report said Thursday.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal from the Oval Office.
“I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”
Asked if he had ever spoken to Kim, whom he had mockingly dubbed “Little Rocket Man,” Trump said: ”I don’t want to comment on it. I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment.”
In the past, he has called talks with the North a waste of time.
His Twitter attacks on Kim, whom he has called “short and fat” and a maniac, are standard operating procedure on his part, he said.
“You’ll see that a lot with me, and then all of the sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You could give me 30. I’m a very flexible person,” he told the paper.
The president acknowledged that Pyongyang, which is now in talks with Seoul, may be trying to drive a wedge between Washington and the South.
“If I were them, I would try,” he told the WSJ. “The difference is I’m president, other people aren’t. And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s lived.”
The president also pulled back on his repeated demands that Mexico directly pay for his promised border wall — saying the cash could somehow come from a renegotiated NAFTA deal.
“They can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA,” Trump told the paper. “We make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, I’m going to take a small percentage of that money and it’s going toward the wall. Guess what? Mexico’s paying.”
He also repeated threats to pull out of the trade deal unless he wins more concessions for the US.
“I understand that a lot of things are hard to negotiate prior to an election,” he said. “They have an election coming up fairly shortly. I understand that makes it a little bit difficult for them.”
The president also accused ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon of betraying him after Bannon’s incendiary quotes about him and his older children in “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff book that trashed the first year of his presidency.
Trump also said that “Fire and Fury,” demonstrated the need for tougher libel laws.
But he told the paper that the GOP-controlled Congress doesn’t have the “guts” for that debate — even though libel laws are passed on the state, not federal level.
He revisited canning FBI director James Comey, saying he thought the move would be a political win for him — though Comey’s firing prompted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Trump also said that messages between a pair of FBI employees were involved in the Mueller investigation amounted to treason.
Agent Peter Strzok was banished from Mueller’s team last year after revelations. that he sent text messages in the summer of 2016 critical of Trump to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who also worked for the special counsel.