President Trump again today decried "Fake News", and claimed the Wall Street journal misquoted him during a taped interview.
The discrepancy stems from a point in the interview where Trump talks about his relationships with world leaders. From the recording, it very clearly sounds as though he says "I have a a good relationship with Kim Jong Un", which clearly he does not.
When the Wall Street Journal reported his statement, Trump, denied he ever said it. Trump claims he said "I'd have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un", which implies that he currently doesn't (which is very true) but that he would have one if....
And the missing "if" in Trump's sentence is the problem with his denial. If Trump had said "I'd have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un if we had an opportunity to sit down together...." or if he said "I'd have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un if he would abandon his nuclear aspirations...." then it would be more plausible to believe his intent. But Trump didn't do that.
In fact, after listing all of the people he claims he has good relationships with (including Kim Jong Un), he continues his sentence "I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised". It simply would not make sense for Trump to list the people he thinks he has good relationships with, include Kim Jong Un in that list, and then somehow not qualify his statement after naming Kim Jong Un.
Listen to the recording on the Wall Street Journal's Tweet:
The Wall Street Journal stated falsely that I said to them “I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un” (of N. Korea). Obviously I didn’t say that. I said “I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
We have reviewed the audio from our interview with President Trump, as well as the transcript provided by an external service, and stand by what we reported. Here is audio of the portion the White House disputes. https://t.co/eWcmiHrXJg pic.twitter.com/bx9fGFWaPw
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 14, 2018
Does this really matter? Not really. Was it probably a slip of the tongue? Probably. The only thing it goes to show is how trivial and massively insecure Trump is when it comes to how he thinks he is perceived. A normal President probably would have said "my mistake, I meant to say "I would have a good relationship..." and then go about their business because a simple misstatement usually means very little. In this case, nobody in their right mind believes Trump has a good relationship with Kim Jong Un. Yet Trump couldn't let it go, and this points to a flawed personality that many people are already concerned about.
A complete transcript of the Wall Street journal's interview with the President can be found here: Trump Wall Street Journal interview transcript