Clapper disputes Trump claim that Obama wanted to meet with Kim

Clapper disputes Trump claim that Obama wanted to meet with Kim
© Greg Nash

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperTrump predicts 'historic' conclusions from DOJ's watchdog report on 'spying' The curious timeline for taking down Trump Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward MORE on Sunday disputed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE’s claim that North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnActivity seen at North Korean missile research center: report South Korea and the billion mustache North Korea replaces its foreign minister: report MORE refused a meeting with Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaButtigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death Obama mourns 'heartbreaking' loss of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna 'The worst news': Political world mourns loss of Kobe Bryant MORE when he was president.

A puzzled look came over Clapper’s face during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” when he saw a clip of Trump claiming that "President Obama wanted to meet, and Chairman Kim would not meet him."

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"The Obama administration was begging for a meeting. They were begging for meetings constantly, and Chairman Kim would not meet with him," Trump added during a news conference earlier Sunday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Clapper flatly denied that claim.

“In all the deliberations that I participated in on North Korea during the Obama administration, I can recall no instance whatever where President Obama ever indicated any interest whatsoever in meeting with Chairman Kim,” Clapper said. “That’s news to me.”

Trump’s claim was also disputed earlier in the day by Obama’s deputy national security adviser.

“Trump is lying. I was there for all 8 years. Obama never sought a meeting with Kim Jong Un. Foreign policy isn’t reality television it’s reality,” Ben Rhodes tweeted.

Clapper on CNN, however, acknowledged that it was historic for Trump to become the first U.S. president to set foot on North Korean soil during a visit on Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone.

“I think it’s a great historic moment, almost to the day of the 27th of July, marks the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the armistice,” he said.

But Clapper said he did not think Trump’s visit is a breakthrough moment in negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea on arms control.

“I personally don’t believe the North Koreans have long term any intent to denuclearize,” he said. “Why should they? It’s their ticket to survival, and they’re just not going to do that.”