Donald Trump appeared to backtrack on his pledge not to use CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a remark that raised eyebrows among lawmakers and national security experts.
“No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and it’s maybe different than your interpretation,” Trump said when asked during a joint press conference with Poland’s president about his comments.
Trump on Tuesday addressed a Wall Street Journal report that Kim Jong Un’s half brother, who was killed in 2017, served as a source for the CIA.
“I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” the president said.
Asked by @kwelkernbc  if he's against using CIA informants to spy on North Korea, President Trump said, "It’s not what I meant. It’s what I said…I think we are going to do very well with North Korea over a period of time."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 12, 2019 
Trump’s comments drew backlash from critics who called it an attempt to cozy up to a murderous dictator. They also said the move, if taken, would rob U.S. intelligence agencies of a crucial tool to learn more about the isolated country.
REPORTER: Mr. President, you seem to suggest yesterday that you were
essentially committed to not spying on North Korea. Is that what you meant?
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 12, 2019