Trump: I Promise Kim Jong Un That the CIA Won’t Spy On Him ‘Under My Auspices’

Trump: I Promise Kim Jong Un That the CIA Won’t Spy On Him ‘Under My Auspices’

President Trump all but apologized to Kim Jong Un over a recent report that the CIA tried to recruit the North Korean dictator’s half-brother as an intelligence source and promised that he would have stopped the effort if he had known about it.

Trump told a gaggle of reporters on the White House lawn that he had seen the report about the CIA’s ties to Nam and would tell Kim “that would not happen under my — under my auspices. That’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Kim Jong Nam had met with a CIA officer a handful of times, and was in Malaysia to meet with him again when he was assassinated in the airport in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur in February of 2017.

The assassination was carried out when two women smeared the components for VX nerve gas on Nam’s face. Both women claimed to have been duped into thinking they were participating in a prank for a hidden-camera show. They were both later released.

North Korea has denied having anything to do with the murder.

Trump also told the assembled reporters that he had just received yet another “very personal, very warm, very nice letter” from Kim Jong Un, and that nobody recognizes North Korea’s potential more than the murderous dictator who has reportedly had dissenters and his own family members executed with anti-aircraft guns.

The president then bragged some more about his relationship with Kim and repeated his assertion that the CIA would not have approached the dictator’s brother “under my auspices.”

The comments are yet another reminder of how little Trump understands about the world of intelligence gathering. Kim Jong Nam had mostly lived outside of North Korea for 20 years before his death but still made trips back to the country. He also reportedly had a strained relationship with his brotehr.

North Korea is such a closed society that it is very difficult for America’s intelligence agencies to develop sources there. This would have made Nam a high-value target for recruitment by the CIA. It would have been a failure in its job if the agency had not at least approached Nam sometime in the last couple of decades when he was living outside of his home country.

Kim Jong Un may hear Trump’s comments and take them to heart. So once again, Trump has put his friendly relationship with a sociopathic dictator above the needs of the intelligence community that works for him.

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.