Trump, NYT in Throwdown Over June 12 Korea Summit

President accuses 'Times' of making up senior White House official who spoke to reporters
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2018 7:30 AM CDT
Trump, NYT in Throwdown Over June 12 Korea Summit
In this May 26, 2018 photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a meeting at the northern side of Panmunjom in North Korea.   (South Korea Presidential Blue House via AP)

If the negotiations swirling around the proposed June 12 summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump are making your head spin, you are far from alone: Following a surprise meeting between Kim and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in which Moon said Kim "once again has made clear his will for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and expressed his intent to settle the history of war and confrontation," per CNN, Trump said late Saturday from the Oval Office that "we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed." But it seems that the White House wasn't in sync with that sentiment, and the New York Times published a story quoting a senior White House official as saying that "even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed."

Trump refuted that report Saturday night via Twitter, saying "The Failing @nytimes quotes “a senior White House official,” who doesn’t exist." Problem being that that senior White House official spoke Thursday to a press conference of about 50 reporters, with another 200 or so linking in via telephone. The Times is maintaining that official's anonymity, though it notes that "It is not clear whether the president was simply unaware of the actions of his own senior staff or if he knowingly ignored the truth." The Washington Post, which was also present at the briefing, backs up the Times' account, saying that "Administrations routinely brief reporters, on background, on a variety of issues, but it is extraordinary for a president to then accuse reporters of making up the officials who take part in the event." (More President Trump stories.)

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