President Donald Trump and the Wall Street Journal are in an open conflict over what was said in a meeting between the President and editors. It was reported to the shock (and ridicule) of many that Trump said that he has a great relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. The White House went public and said that the President clearly said the “I’d have a very good relationship” and not “I have a very good relationship” with the dictator. The White House disputed that President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Thursday that “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea,” saying that Mr. Trump had instead said “I’d probably have a very good relationship” with the North Korean leader. Notably, this was not a denial based on “misspeaking” but a direct denial. Trump then pushed it further with a tweet. Unlike the controversy over the denied use of the word “shithole” in the Oval Office (where Trump said he might have to start recording such meetings), he did record this interview. Now the Wall Street Journal has released the tape and it sounds like the editors were correctly recounting the President’s words (though it is close). I have now listened repeatedly and initially supported the WSJ, but now I am not quite as confident. Trump’s position seems more consistent with the context and he might have swallowed the “did” a bit in “I’d.” The recording is below.
You can listen for yourself: Here.
I am surprised that the White House did not simply say that the President meant “I’d have” but instead has gone “all in” on another complete denial. The use of “I’d” would be more consistent with the context of the remarks. It seems to be what he meant as opposed to how he said it.
You be the judge. Who is telling the truth on the issue?