President Donald Trump sat down with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos after the historic summit in Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to discuss his impression of the summit and of the dictator himself.
In his press conference overnight, the president said that he “developed a very special bond” with Kim. Stephanopoulos asked Trump about that bond.
“Well it’s been a very intense day. As you know we discussed things over the last few months” he said. “We’ve developed a pretty good relationship in terms of getting something done. It got done.”
The Summit resulted in a document signed by both leaders, a joint statement on improving relations and denuclearization goals, which Trump tells Stephanopoulos he thinks its a “terrific” document, and also that they agreed to things beyond what is in that joint statement.
“There are things that we negotiated after that document that are also very important,” he said. “They’re going to get rid of certain ballistic missile sites and various other things– We’re going to put that out later.”
“They’re going to get rid of their nuclear weapons, George,” the President said, “and I think they want to do it relatively quickly.”
“We have the framework for getting ready to denuclearize,” Trump said.
Trust came up more than once. Stephanopoulos pressed Trump on the question of how to extend that trust given Kim’s bloody nature.
STEPHANOPOULOS: “Kim is a brutal dictator. He runs a police state. Forced starvation, labor camps, he’s assassinated members of his own family. How do you trust a killer like that?”
TRUMP: “George, I’m given what I’m given. Okay? I mean, this is what we have, this is where we are, and I can only tell you from my experience, and I’ve met him, I’ve spoken with him. I’ve met him. And this is, this has started very early and it’s been very intense. I think that he really wants to do a great job for North Korea. I think he wants to de-nuke… without that, there’s nothing to discuss. It was on the table from the beginning, and you see a total denuclearization of North Korea — so important. And, he wants to do the right thing. Now, what it is I can’t talk about — it doesn’t matter. We’re starting from scratch. We’re starting right now, and we have to get rid of those nuclear weapons.”
Stephanopoulos asked him again, how do you trust him? Is he willing to change?
“Well, over my lifetime I’ve done a lot of deals with a lot of people and sometimes, the people you most distrust turn out to be the most honorable ones,” Trump said. “And the people that you do trust turn out to be not the honorable ones.”
“He said openly that no other president could have done this,” Trump offered at one point, apparently as a reason to trust him.
They talked more about the commitment to denuclearization, with the President saying that the entire agreement was based on that, and that without it, there would be no talks at all. He repeated his belief that Kim is committed to the idea. “I believe that he wants to get it done,” he said.
“You trust him,” said Stephanopoulos.
“I do trust him, yeah,” the President said of Kim Jong Un.
Watch the full interview above, courtesy of ABC.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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