“Fortunately We Now Record Conversations with Reporters”
Donald Trump began his Sunday morning with his latest attack on the free press – this time, disputing audio that the Wall Street Journal already released of their interview with the president.
“The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them ‘I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un’ (of N. Korea),” the president wrote. “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...”
The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them “I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un” (of N. Korea). 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...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
“...and they knew exactly what I said and meant,” he continued. “They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!”
...and they knew exactly what I said and meant. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
The president then re-tweeted his late Saturday attack on the free press, which was Trump’s first statement after the entirety of Hawaii was advised to seek immediate shelter due to an inbound ballistic missile. It took the state nearly 40 minutes to issue an official correction for the “false alarm.”
“So much Fake News is being reported. They don’t even try to get it right, or correct it when they are wrong,” Trump re-tweeted.“They promote the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information. The Mainstream Media is crazed that WE won the election!”
The interview in question, conducted last week, featured the following exchange taken from the outlet’s transcript:
Mr. Trump: I will let you know. But if I were them I would try. But the difference is I’m president; other people aren’t. And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived, but I’ll let you know. But I’ll tell you, you know, when you talk about driving a wedge, we also have a thing called trade. And South Korea—brilliantly makes—we have a trade deficit with South Korea of $31 billion a year. That’s a pretty strong bargaining chip to me.
With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.
WSJ: Just to be clear, you haven’t spoken to the North Korean leader, I mean when you say a relationship with Korea—
Mr. Trump: I don’t want to comment on it—I don’t want to comment, I’m not saying I have or I haven’t. But I just don’t—
WSJ: Some people would see your tweets, which are sometimes combative towards Kim Jong Un...
Mr. Trump: Sure, you see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.
Ahead of Trump’s attack, late Saturday, the newspaper released the audio of the transcript:
We have reviewed the audio from our interview with President Trump, as well as the transcript provided by an external service, and stand by what we reported. Here is audio of the portion the White House disputes. https://t.co/eWcmiHrXJg pic.twitter.com/bx9fGFWaPw— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 14, 2018
As NBC News’ Geoff Bennett pointed out:
Worth noting this push to discredit the WSJ comes after the paper reported Friday that the president’s private attorney brokered a $130K payment to a former adult film star to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump https://t.co/sLrgpdUG7h— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 14, 2018
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