Four interviewers from the Wall Street Journal sat down with President Donald Trump on Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, but there was one particular statement the president denied making after the transcript was released.
"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un," Trump allegedly said about the North Korean leader he once referred to as a "maniac" and "little rocket man."
"The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them 'I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un' (of N. Korea)," Trump later tweeted. "Obviously I didn’t say that. I said 'I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un, a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters..."
And just like what Mr. Trump said, fortunately, the conversation was recorded, and it played back exactly what was said during that portion of the interview.
We have reviewed the audio from our interview with President Trump, as well as the transcript provided by an external service, and stand by what we reported. Here is audio of the portion the White House disputes. https://t.co/eWcmiHrXJg pic.twitter.com/bx9fGFWaPw— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 14, 2018
A White House official later cleared the air by disputing the WSJ's misrepresented quote and blamed the delayed response on the daily newspaper's failure to make the correction.
The reason there was a delay is because we had several calls and emails with WSJ, starting Friday morning, asking them to issue a correction. They refused and so we pushed out our own clarification.
The conditional tense of the quote was a point of contention on Twitter.
Former oppo researcher in me has been obsessing over this so I reduced the background noise and slowed his voice down to 40 percent and he says “I’d”— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 14, 2018
He 100% said "I'd" and all these lying hack reporters know it.— Stephen Tennant (@BiglyIfTrue) January 14, 2018
That's why he said "probably".
A reporter wanted to confirm Trump's standing with Kim Jong Un, asking, "Just to be clear, you haven’t spoken to the North Korean leader? I mean when you say a relationship with Korea ...."
The reporter was immediately cut off.
"I don’t want to comment on it — I don’t want to comment, I’m not saying I have or I haven’t," Trump responded.
Twitter highlighted other precious talking points from the interview.
Trump declined to say if he has spoken with Kim Jong Un. “I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment.”— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 11, 2018
Wouldn’t say if his relationship with Bannon broken beyond repair. “I don’t know what the word permanent means.”@MichaelCBender https://t.co/gZnBOHCyu8
From WSJ intw: "Trump offered an unsolicited rebuttal to 'Fire and Fury,' saying it showed the need for new libel laws. But he acknowledged that was unlikely to happen, saying that the Republican-controlled Congress doesn't have the 'guts' for that debate" https://t.co/r3JTHsad7e— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 11, 2018
Trump clearly does not care about the Constitution which will be here after he goes. Our laws aren’t meant to suit one man. Those laws are to prevent tyranny. He is unbelievably unfit for the office he holds.— Danielle (@Danielle1239) January 14, 2018
He tweeted that the author is mentally deranged. Wouldn’t he violate his own libel law?— Ilan Kopecky (@IlanKopecky) January 14, 2018
The interview concluded with this winning statement.