After President Donald Trump teased a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and then became the first U.S. president to visit the secluded nation, responses back home were mixed.
But for some Obama administration insiders, one aspect of the trip warranted a specific statement. Trump asserted this weekend that his predecessor “wanted to meet and Chairman Kim would not meet him.”
That statement is untrue, says Ben Rhodes, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser.
“Trump is lying,” he said. “I was there for all 8 years. Obama never sought a meeting with Kim Jong Un. Foreign policy isn’t reality television it’s reality.”
Formrer Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a similar recollection:
“In all the deliberations that I participated in on North Korea during the Obama administration, I can recall no instance whatever where President Obama ever indicated any interest whatsoever in meeting with Chairman Kim. It’s news to me.”