White House 'fully expects' Trump-Kim meeting to happen

The White House on Monday said it “fully expects” a meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Alyssa Milano protests Kavanaugh in 'Handmaid's Tale' costume Bomb in deadly Yemen school bus attack was manufactured by US firm: report MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, announced last week, to happen.

Asked during a press briefing if there’s a chance the meeting won’t happen, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “We fully expect that it will.”

“The offer was made, and we’ve accepted,” she continued. “North Korea made several promises, and we hope that they stick to those promises, and if so, the meeting will go on as planned.”


Sanders’s Monday comments come after she appeared to give Trump wiggle room to cancel with comments she gave during Friday’s press briefing.

On Thursday night, a South Korean official announced that Trump had accepted an invitation from Kim to meet by May.

If Trump follows through, it would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

On Friday, though, Sanders said in a press briefing that the meeting wouldn’t happen “until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea” without clarifying what actions she was referring to.

On Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah clarified that North Korea had to keep the promises it made to South Korea for the meeting to happen.

“This potential meeting has been agreed to,” Shah said on ABC News’s “This Week.” "There are no additional conditions being stipulated, but, again they cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing, and they can’t publicly object to the U.S.-South Korea planned military exercises.”

Asked about preparations for the meeting, Sanders said it is an ongoing interagency process, but declined to offer details.

“I’m not going to get ahead on any of the details of the where, the when or any of that today,” she said.

Sanders also declined to discuss whether Kim has reached out to Trump via an envoy.

Earlier Monday, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTo solve the southern border crisis, look past the border Dems want GOP chairman to subpoena State Department over cyber docs Overnight Energy: Trump elephant trophy tweets blindsided staff | Execs of chemical plant that exploded during hurricane indicted | Interior to reverse pesticide ban at wildlife refuges MORE said planning for the meeting is in “the very early stages.” 

He also said the United States has not heard from North Korea since Trump accepted the invitation.

"We have not heard anything directly back from North Korea, although we do expect to hear something directly from them,” Tillerson said during a press conference from Nigeria.