President Donald Trump appeared to lose his patience with CBS News’ Lesley Stahl as she read North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s “resume” of atrocities.
In his first interview with the news program in two years, Trump responded to Stahl’s questions over his relationship with the North Korean leader and why he trusts him.
“I do trust him, yeah, I trust him. That doesn’t mean I can’t be proven wrong,” the president said in the interview taped last week at the White House.
“Why would you trust him?” Stahl interrupted.
“Well, first of all, if I didn’t trust him, I wouldn’t say that to you. Wouldn’t I be foolish to tell you right here, on 60 Minutes,” Trump responded as Stahl persisted.
“But is it true that they haven’t gotten rid of a single weapon, and they may actually be building more missiles?” she asked.
Trump pushed back, saying “nobody really knows,” but admitting that there is a suspicion that it is true.
“Let’s say the answer is yes, okay? In the meantime, they haven’t tested a missile. They haven’t tested a rocket. They definitely haven’t done a nuclear test because you know about them real fast. It sort of moves the earth. And we have a relationship now,” he said.
Trump also noted that he has no plans currently to lift sanctions against North Korea.
“No I’m not doing it. This isn’t the Obama administration. I haven’t eased the sanctions. I haven’t done anything. I haven’t done anything. We’re meeting. I believe he likes me. I like him. We have a good relationship. It’s very important,” he said.
A video clip was then played of the president speaking at a rally about his relationship with Jong-un.
“And then we fell in love, okay. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they’re great letters. We fell in love,” Trump said in the video.
Stahl proceeded to read the North Korean leader’s “resume.”
“He presides over a cruel kingdom of repression, gulags, starvation. Reports that he had his half-brother assassinated. Slave labor. Public executions. This is a guy you love?” she asked.
Trump appeared to get a bit exasperated.
“I know all these things. I mean– I’m not a baby. I know these things,” he replied.
“I know, but why do you love that guy?” she pressed.
Look, look. I like– I get along with him, okay?” Trump shot back. “That’s just a figure of speech.”
When Stahl pushed back that it was “like an embrace,” the president concluded, “Let it be whatever it is.”
“I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him,” he said. “Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats. No more threats.”
The wide-ranging and often contentious “60 Minutes” interview saw Trump also defending his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, slamming the “dishonest media” and whether he would pledge not to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“I don’t want to pledge,” he added. “Why should I pledge to you? If I pledge, I’ll pledge. I don’t have to pledge to you. But I have … I have no intention of doing that,” Trump said, later telling Stahl, “In the meantime, I’m president and you’re not.”
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