'Those are so top secret': Donald Trump shared classified Kim Jong-Un letters with Bob Woodward
Former President Donald Trump during his time in office often boasted about his attempted bromance with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, which reached its apex when Trump declared that he and Kim "fell in love." Although the relationship involved exchanges of personal letters, the two men were never able to publicly strike a deal to have Kim dismantle his nuclear weapons program. Kim even once referred to Trump as a "dotard" after he threatened to annihilate North Korea with "fire and fury."
Nonetheless, Trump has remained proud of the coziness that he believes he cultivated with the reclusive autocrat (as well as other dictators).
On Tuesday, previously unheard recordings were released of Trump sharing the notes with reporter Bob Woodward, who featured his conversations with Trump in his new audiobook, The Trump Tapes: Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Trump.
"Treat them with respect,” Trump warned Woodward in December 2019 according to excerpts obtained by The Washington Post. "And don’t say I gave them to you, okay?”
He told Woodward that "I'll let you see them" but stressed that "I don’t want you to have them all.” Trump also asked Woodward if he intended to make “a Photostat of them or something” – referencing a form of photocopying that went extinct in the mid-1900s.
“No, I dictated them into a tape recorder,” Woodward replied.
Then, in January 2020, Trump admitted that “those are so top secret."
The Post noted that "in hindsight, the comments by Trump show he was well aware that the 27 letters exchanged between himself and Kim were classified, despite his repeated claims that none of the documents he improperly took from the White House when leaving office, including the Kim letters, were in that category. The FBI and Justice Department this year executed a court-authorized search of Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club and residence — turning up 103 documents marked classified and roughly 11,000 not marked classified as part of an ongoing criminal probe into Trump’s handling of sensitive material."
The Post explained that "the English translations of the letters, which Woodward includes as an appendix to a written transcript of the audiobook, shows page after page of pen-pal niceties — birthday tidings, 'best wishes' for friends and family — between the then-president and the autocratic leader of one of the world’s most repressive regimes."
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