President Trump, fresh off negotiations in Vietnam with North Korea, dove into a wide-ranging interview on Fox News Thursday night where he explained why he decided to walk away from talks with Kim Jong Un.
The commander-in-chief told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that his conversation with Kim “didn’t quite work out” and the two world leaders “didn’t sign anything.”
While Trump sought a complete denuclearization, North Korea only wanted to “de-nuke certain areas,” the president explained, adding that he was reluctant to ease sanctions.
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After Hannity made reference to Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal,” the president said, “you have to be prepared to walk.”
“And this just wouldn’t have been good for our country,” Trump said. “And, frankly, he could look at it the same way. Maybe he can look at it the same way.”
But he noted his ties with Kim and sounded optimistic for the future.
“He’s a different kind of a guy, and I just said, look, this isn’t going to be working,” Trump said. “I have feeling something down the line will happen. And it’ll happen, it’ll be good.”
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Speaking about his first summit with Kim in Singapore last June, Trump talked about the progress he said has been accomplished since.
“The fact is that he also said he’s not going to do testing, and he said that recently, and he said it again to me just a little while ago. He doesn’t want to do testing. He’s not going to do that. That’s a big thing. No rockets, no anything,” Trump said. “And I believe, you know, when he tells me that. I will take him at his word. But we’ll see how it all goes.”
“I think we had a very good two days, but I just don’t think maybe either of us were ready,” he continued.
The interview then veered into other topics, including immigration, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation and Trump’s reaction to Michael Cohen’s Capitol Hill testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.
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Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, testified that Trump is “a racist,” “a conman,” and “a cheat.” He also commented on the Russia investigation.
“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen said. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”
Trump told Hannity that he managed to watch part of Cohen’s testimony and described it as “a terrible display of dishonesty.”
But Trump claimed that Cohen spoke at least one truth during the hearing — that there was “no collusion.”
“He said no collusion. And I said, it’s funny, he lied about so many things, and yet he could have said — he might as well lie about that one, too,” Trump said. “But he said no collusion.”
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The president also slammed Democrats for the timing of the hearing while he was in Vietnam with Kim.
“Well, I think maybe more than anything else, the fact that they held it today where I’m working on something that is very, very important for the world, not only our country, for the world, was really inappropriate,” Trump said. “The Democrats, the hatred is so incredible, and they couldn’t help themselves, and that’s the way it is.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.