Former President Donald Trump.
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- Trump slammed a forthcoming book by The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman as “fake.”
- “Yet another fake book, by a reporter who knows nothing about me, Maggot Haberman of the New York Times,” Trump said.
- Trump has told people he’s still in touch with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Haberman reported.
Former President Donald Trump on Friday blasted a forthcoming book by The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, claiming that her reporting is “fake.”
“Yet another fake book, by a reporter who knows nothing about me, Maggot Haberman of the New York Times, is making up stories about my relationship with foreign leaders,” Trump said in a statement. “She claims I speak with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, but not other world leaders. Wrong!”
In an excerpt of the book published by Axios on Thursday, Haberman reported that since leaving office, Trump has told people that he’s still been in touch with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Responding to Trump’s statement, Haberman on Friday tweeted, “The former president appears to have confirmed my reporting that he’s told several people he’s talking to Kim Jong Un since the presidency.”
“It is not unheard-of for some kind of correspondence to exist between a former president and another world leader,” Haberman added. “The question would be what is being said, if the conversation is happening.”
Trump as president had a controversial, unorthodox relationship with the North Korean dictator that often prompted criticism in Washington.
Early on in his presidency, Trump and Kim frequently traded threats and insults from across the globe — at times prompting concerns a nuclear war was on the horizon. But that dynamic shifted in 2018 as Trump moved to establish a dialogue with Kim on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Trump ultimately met with Kim several times, becoming the first sitting president in US history to meet a North Korean leader face-to-face and to step into North Korea. Though the meetings between Kim and Trump were highly publicized, they failed to rid North Korea of its nuclear arsenal. Critics have accused Trump of legitimizing Kim and giving the dictator the global spotlight he wanted, without getting results for the US and its allies in the end.
Meanwhile, Trump often boasted of his friendship with Kim, bragging about “love letters” he received from the North Korean leader and how “beautiful” they were.
The former president also controversially took Kim’s word on the subject of Otto Warmbier’s death. Warmbier was a US student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months before being released to the US in a vegetative state, dying soon after. Warmbier’s parents issued a scathing statement blaming Kim for their son’s death but Trump said, “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”
Kim is widely regarded as one of the world’s most brutal leaders, largely maintaining power via a system of prison camps.
Haberman’s book, titled “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” comes out on October 4, and details Trump’s days in New York, his four years in the White House, and his post-presidential life. Haberman closely covered Trump on the 2016 campaign trail and during his time in office.
In another excerpt of the book, Haberman reported that Trump’s staff suspected that the president had clogged a toilet by flushing pieces of paper down it. Trump denied the reporting in a statement on Thursday.
“Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book,” Trump said.
Trump’s ex-communications director Alyssa Farah on Thursday said the former president is “terrified” of Haberman’s book.
“I still talk to some folks in Trumpworld, the ones who have not engaged in criminality,” Farah told ABC’s “The View.” “The former president is terrified of Maggie Haberman’s book. This is the first big anecdote, but there is quite a bit more to come.”