White House clarifies Trump’s message about Melania meeting Kim Jong Un

(FILE PHOTO by White House government works)

President Donald Trump inadvertently attracted the attention of the media’s dubious fact-checkers Monday when he claimed from the G7 Summit that his wife, first lady Melania Trump, “has gotten to know” North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

The first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong-Un, and I think she’d agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential,” he said during a G7 press conference alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.

Listen:


Source: NBC News

In response, the media rushed to fact-check the statement, with CNN and its various branches all leading the charge:

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has since clarified the remark, telling members of the media that the president hadn’t meant it literally.

President Trump confides in his wife on many issues including the detailed elements of his strong relationship with Chairman Kim — and while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too,” she said in a statement.

This clarification triggered another round of recriminations from the media, with CNN leading the charge again.

“We’re still calling the statement false. Trump’s phrasing, ‘gotten to know,’ clearly suggested some level of personal interaction between Melania Trump and Kim,” the outlet, which only days ago allowed a guest to a guest to falsely accuse the president of killing more people than deceased dictators Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, wrote in a “report.”

These fact-checks by CNN came only a day after the network’s chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter, issued a series of hyperbolic, fact-free statements about the president’s mental health.

“The story that’s playing out every day on our TV screens and Twitter feeds — he is getting worse,” Stelter speculated in regard to Trump’s health. “We can all see it. It’s happening in public. But it’s still a very hard, very sensitive story to cover. I’m talking, of course, about President Trump, about his behavior, about his instability, the contradictions, the lies, the complete rejection of reality.”

As “evidence,” Stelter cited unsubstantiated accusations from the president’s critics, as well as the president’s factually accurate remarks about Baltimore, his tough criticism of the “squad,” him confusing Dayton with Toledo and his his stern response to Denmark’s trash-talking.

“Stelter … recited his evidence, listing how George Conway said Trump is ‘mentally unstable,’ Anthony Scaramucci claimed Trump has had a mental breakdown, Trump’s ‘racist remarks about Baltimore’ and ‘The Squad’ as well as confusing Dayton with Toledo and canceling his trip to Denmark over the Greenland dispute,” the Washington Examiner notes.

Listen:

The CNN host went on to speak with two psychiatrists.

“There are lots of theories about what it is [that’s wrong with the president],” he said. “There are some doctors who think they know. There are others say we shouldn’t speculate. There are ethical questions about having this conversation at all. But we can’t tiptoe around it anymore. We’ve got to talk about this. So let’s talk about it. Let’s do it. Let me bring in two guests, two psychiatrists.”

It’s unclear why Stelter’s never displayed the same concern about Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s mental health. In the past couple of weeks alone, he’s mistaken New Hampshire for Vermont, misplaced the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy by a decade, claimed he was vice president at the time of the Parkland shooting and said, quote, “Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids.”

His behavior has been so genuinely “erratic,” “volatile” and “unstable” — the words Stelter used Sunday to describe Trump — that the former VP was forced to clarify to his supporters that he’s “not going nuts.” It remains unknown whether CNN will fact-check this or any one of Biden’s other remarks the way it has and continues to fact-check every word out of the president’s mouth.

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Vivek Saxena

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