Donald Trump claimed he had “good chemistry” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward has revealed in a clip from his audiobook.
The former president told Woodward, “I’m the only one he’s dealing with,” referring to the pariah state leader with whom Trump attempted to negotiate a peace deal.
‘The word chemistry. You meet someone and you have good chemistry,” Trump said in an audio clip released by Woodward and broadcast on CNN, comparing meeting Kim to the experience of developing chemistry with a woman.
‘You meet a woman. In one second you know if it’s all going to happen,” he added.
Woodward also told Trump that the CIA thinks Kim is “ultimately stupid” — a claim Trump refuted, instead describing the North Korean leader as “sly” and “sly” and “very smart.”
While in office, Trump sought to improve relations with North Korea, traveling in person to meet Kim, and also encouraged the despot to enter into peace talks with South Korea.
Relations between North Korea and the US seemed better in the later stages of the Trump presidency, with the two leaders corresponding regularly, but the former president was unable to prevent Kim from continuing with the country’s nuclear weapons program and relations have declined dramatically under the Biden administration.
The pariah state has fired a record number of missiles this year, with a recent ICBM launch over Japan sparking widespread evacuations and strong condemnation from US, Japanese and South Korean officials.
The latest recording released by Woodward comes shortly after he revealed that the former president knew the letters he exchanged with Kim — which were among the documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago — were secret, but they were still secret. showed to Woodward.
Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone in 2019
Despite the apparent mutual affection shown in letters between Trump and Kim and two sit-down meetings, North Korea continued to ramp up its nuclear program during the Trump administration
Recently released recordings of conversations between journalist Bob Woodward (pictured) and Donald Trump prove that the former president knew that his correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, which was one of the documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago , was secret.
Woodward responds to Trump’s comments
In December 2019, Trump showed Woodward the “love letters” Kim had written to him, but seemed to acknowledge that he was not allowed to show them around.
“Treat them with respect and don’t say I gave them to you, okay? But I’ll show you them,” Trump said after handing the reporter a stack of letters.
A month later, in January 2020, Woodward on a phone call insisted that Trump show him the letters he had written back to Kim.
“Oh, those are so top secret,” Trump replied, according to… extracts from ‘The Trump Tapes: Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Trump.’
The audiobook features more than eight hours of Woodward’s raw interviews with Trump, interspersed with commentary from the journalist.
The comments show that Trump knew the 27 letters he and Kim exchanged were secret and took them to Mar-a-Lago anyway. Trump has repeatedly insisted that none of the documents he falsely stole from the White House were secret.
Instead, he claims he had the power to release documents “even by thinking about it.”
“There doesn’t have to be a trial, as I understand it,” Trump said in a September interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“You are the President of the United States, you can declassify by saying it has been declassified, even by thinking about it.”
“In other words, when I left the White House, they were released,” Trump said.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s Florida property in January, including the letters between him and Kim.
The FBI and the Department of Justice issued an unprecedented search warrant at the former president’s residence in August, finding 103 documents marked classified and 11,000 unmarked as classified as part of an ongoing investigation into Trump’s treatment of the sensitive material.
English translations of the letters were printed in 2020 and showed Trump and the Korean dictator crawling over each other, with Kim referring to the US president as “Your Excellency” and writing that the “deep and special friendship between us will be like a magical force.” to work. ‘
And despite the apparent mutual affection shown in letters between the two leaders and two sit-down meetings, North Korea continued to ramp up its nuclear program during the Trump administration.
This file photo, taken on June 30, 2019, shows US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un talking before a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Panmunjom
This photo, taken on January 27, 2022 and released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 28, shows what North Korea believes to be a tactical guided missile test conducted by the Academy of Defense Science of the DPRK in a secret location
At the December 2019 meeting, Trump asked Woodward what he had done with the letters, asking if he had made them a “photostat or something,” referring to a photocopy.
“No, I dictated them into a tape recorder,” Woodward said.
After Trump agreed to share the letters he wrote to Kim, Woodward said he returned to the White House and read the new batch of letters in his tape recorder.
Woodward said he saw no classification markings on the documents, although officials have indicated they were classified.
In that December 2019 interview, Woodward pressured Trump about North Korea’s nuclear program, prompting the then-president to brag about the US’s seemingly new — and likely top-secret — weapons system.
“I built a weapons system that has never been used in this country before,” Trump told Woodward. “We have things you haven’t even seen or heard. We have things Putin and Xi have never heard of.”
In a moment of self-consciousness, Trump reflected that he seemed to get on better with world leaders “the tougher and meaner they are.”
“I get on very well with Erdogan, even if I don’t mean to, because everyone says what a terrible guy. But you know it works out well for me,” Trump said in a January 2020 interview.
“It’s funny, the relationships I have, the harder and meaner they are, the better I get on with them. You know?’ he continued.
“Just explain that to me sometime, okay. But maybe it’s not a big deal. The easy ones are the ones I might not like or get along with very well.’