Trump appears to walk back pledge not to use CIA informants against Kim Jong Un

President Trump on Wednesday appeared to backtrack on his pledge not to use CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a remark that raised eyebrows among lawmakers and national security experts.

“No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation,” Trump said when asked during a joint press conference with Poland’s president about his comments

{mosads}Trump on Tuesday addressed a Wall Street Journal report that Kim Jong Un’s half brother, who was killed in 2017, served as a source for the CIA.

“I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” the president said.

Trump’s comments drew backlash from critics who called it an attempt to cozy up to a murderous dictator. They also said the move, if taken, would rob U.S. intelligence agencies of a crucial tool to learn more about the isolated country.

Trump nonetheless voiced optimism he could eventually reach a nuclear agreement with Kim, even though there has been little progress since talks broke down following their failed summit in February.

“I think we’re going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time,” the president said.  “We started off on a very rough relationship and I think we have a very good relationship right now, so we’ll see what happens. I’m in no rush. I’m in no rush.”

Trump pointed to the letter he said he received yesterday, which he first revealed on Tuesday, as a sign for optimism but declined to discuss its contents.

“He just wrote me a very nice letter, unexpected. Someday you’ll see what’s in that letter. One day you’ll be reading about it. Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks,” he said.

The president did not respond if he has plans for a third summit with Kim.

Updated at 3:34 p.m.

Tags CIA Donald Trump Kim Jong Un North Korea

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