Trump rips Wall Street Journal: I never said I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un

President Trump on Sunday morning went after The Wall Street Journal, claiming he never said he had a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them ‘I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un’ (of N. Korea),” Trump tweeted.

“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!”

His comments come after Trump reportedly said last week in an interview with the newspaper that he “probably” has a “very good relationship” with the North Korean leader.

“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said in the interview. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”

When asked during the interview if he has spoken with Kim, Trump said he didn’t want to comment.

“I’m not saying I have or haven’t,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to comment.”

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday pushed back against Trump’s claim, saying the publication “stands by what it reported.”

The Journal said it agreed with the White House before the interview that audiotape taken by administration officials and reporters would be used for “transcription purposes only.”

“After the White House challenged the Journal’s transcription and accuracy of the quote in a story, The Journal decided to release the relevant portion of the audio. The White House then released its audio version of the contested segment,” the Journal said.

“A transcript of the interview created by an independent transcription service for The Journal and posted online by the newspaper Thursday evening also said that Mr. Trump had said ‘I’ rather than ‘I’d.’ “

Trump last week told South Korea’s leader he was open to direct talks with North Korea on its nuclear program.

“Sure. I always believe in talking,” he told reporters at Camp David. “If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.” 

The president had previously dismissed the idea of direct talks with North Korea, tweeting in October that negotiations with the country were a waste of time.

— This report was updated at 9:05 a.m.

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