On Thursday, we reported on Pres. Donald Trump’s crazy interview with The Wall Street Journal. If you’re behind the paywall, you can get the gist of the interview via my article, Trump Just Told WSJ: ‘I Probably Have A Very Good Relationship With Kim Jong-un’, in The New York Times article, or you can read the transcript provided by WSJ.
Along with many people possessing mental clarity, I was particularly stunned by Trump’s comment about his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un.”
Blink. Wait…really? Yeah, that mofo really did say that – we THINK.
Apparently Mr. Trump was as surprised by that statement as we were; he denied saying it.
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. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
He also got his paid liar Sarah Huckabee-Sanders to lie for him.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 13, 2018
And Ms. Sanders released this.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 14, 2018
Take that, you big meanies at The Wall Street Journal! Yeah, you heard that right! You heard what Trump said, you treasonous fake-news-loving infidels! Oh, wait…
Unlike the rest of us, The Wall Street Journal has been mostly out of the “fake news” firing line, with few people questioning their integrity. But we’re living in the new universe known as Trumplandia where any news that doesn’t compliment Der Trumper is “FAKE NEWS!!!”
Welcome to the dark side, WSJ.
Being uncomfy with the “fake news” label, the WSJ promptly released their own audio of their interview with Trump. And they really really really want us to listen to it because they put it on Twitter, not in an article behind their paywall. Listen below.
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
An argument has been made that Trump was definitely saying “I’d” rather than “I.”
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) January 14, 2018
Note this from the transcript, which clearly indicates the reporter’s attempt to clarify Trump’s comment. For his part, Trump seems disinterested in clearing up any confusion that his remarks may cause, and instead attempts to cast some intrigue and mystery around his statements.
Mr. Trump: 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.
Why didn’t he take the opportunity THEN, when asked for clarity, to explain that he meant “I would probably…”
To be honest, I’m hearing “I,” not “I’d,” and more importantly, I’m reading “I” in the context of the rest of the conversation. The reporter was not being dishonest if he misinterpreted it. I guess it comes down to whose interpretation we trust, that of the Wall Street Journal reporter or that of Donald Trump. Me? Of course I believe nearly anyone over Donald Trump. D’uh. When you’re dishonest and shady in most of your other dealings, you forfeit the benefit of the doubt in any argument.
Either way, it was a completely stupid thing to say and Donald Trump is delusional. He will never, ever, in this lifetime or any other, have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. And why the F would he want to? We’re taking about a guy who had his own uncle and half-brother executed, and who uses “terrifying creative methods to kill enemies.” Think he’s gonna be butt-buddies with Donald Trump?
And there is this, of course.
Big respect for being objective , @ianbremmer .
Still, if I may, isn't a speculative (or hoped-for?) chumminess with KJU essentially just as shameful ?
Aren't we missing the maniacal forest for the phonetic trees here ?
— Eli Jellenc (@sej3l) January 14, 2018
Though I certainly can’t support Kim Jong-un’s leadership tactics, it’s clear that he takes his role in his country seriously, unlike Trump. Dude has the haircut…the uniform…the attitude…the reputation for torture. He and his people would likely see it as a sign of weakness for him to become buds with another country’s leader when said “leader” was as particularly insulting and aggressive as Trump was to Kim. I really don’t see him as being the type to shake hands and do a back-slap with a beer, letting bygones be bygones, and experts agree.
How will the Trumpers respond to this? I suspect they’ll hear exactly what they want to hear, and they never want to hear the truth.