Trump Flip-Flops on Not Spying on North Korea: ‘It’s Not What I Meant. It’s What I Said.’

Trump Flip-Flops on Not Spying on North Korea: ‘It’s Not What I Meant. It’s What I Said.’

When is what someone said not what he meant? When it is Donald Trump saying it.

Such was the case during a Wednesday press conference in the Rose Garden. MSNBC’s Kristen Welker asked the president if, based on comments he made Tuesday that he would not have allowed the CIA to approach Kim Jong Un’s brother as a possible intelligence source, he is now “essentially committing to not spying on North Korea.”

Trump responded, “No. It’s not what I meant. It’s what I said. And I think it’s different maybe than your interpretation.”

He then pivoted to saying he thinks America is “going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time” and claimed inaccurately that the two countries were on the verge of going to war when he became president., but that he had stopped it.

So according to Trump, when he said on Tuesday he would like to tell the North Korean dictator that if the CIA had wanted to recruit Kim’s brother while he was president, “that would not happen under my auspices,” he was not saying what it sounded like he was saying. Welker and everyone else just misinterpreted the statement.

There was no follow-up. Perhaps because there is no way to follow that up.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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.