Yesterday, President Trump ignited a new scandal with remarks about the CIA and Kim Jong Nam, the deceased half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong Nam — who appears to have been assassinated by his own government with nerve gas in 2017 — seems to have been in contact with the CIA. While he was living outside North Korea and apparently had little influence within his infamously secretive home nation at the time, it would make sense that the United States would be interested in gleaning any information they could from him.
While speaking to reporters though, Trump addressed the story about Kim Jong Nam working with the Central Intelligence Agency, dismissing it not only as untrue but as something he would never allow.
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“I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half-brother and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspice that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” Trump stated.
The backlash was immediate, with many Americans furious that their president would side with a foreign strongman over the intelligence-gathering objectives of the CIA.
Now, he’s been confronted over the controversy, and he managed to completely flub his response. While giving Trump was giving a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, a reporter pointed out that Trump’s comments yesterday made it sound like he was committing to not spying on North Korea and asked him if that’s what he meant. His response was nonsensical.
“No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said. I think it’s different than maybe your interpretation,” he said before devolving into some rambling comments about sanctions and retrieving the remains of American soldiers from North Korea.
The answer only makes his original comments worse. He’s either contradicting himself now or is so confused by his own constant lying that he can’t even remember what he said. The reporter’s characterization of yesterday’s incident was completely accurate and if one goes back and listens to what Trump said it’s very clear he was saying he wouldn’t let the CIA spy on his pal Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, even if it were in the United States’ best interests. This president makes our country less safe.
Watch the clip below.
REPORTER: Mr. President, you seem to suggest yesterday that you were
essentially committed to not spying on North Korea. Is that what you meant?
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 12, 2019