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Trump appears to walk back pledge not to use CIA informants against Kim Jong Un

The Hill logo The Hill 6/12/2019 Jordan Fabian
Kim Jong-un et al. standing together in uniform: Trump appears to walk back pledge not to use CIA informants against Kim Jong Un © KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images Trump appears to walk back pledge not to use CIA informants against Kim Jong Un

President Trump on Wednesday appeared to backtrack on his pledge not to use CIA informants to spy on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a remark that raised eyebrows among lawmakers and national security experts.

"No, it's not what I meant. It's what I said and I think it's different, maybe, than your interpretation," Trump said when asked during a joint press conference with Poland's president about his comments.

Trump on Tuesday addressed a Wall Street Journal report that Kim Jong Un's half brother, who was killed in 2017, served as a source for the CIA.

"I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that's for sure. I wouldn't let that happen under my auspices," the president said.

Trump's comments drew backlash from critics who called it an attempt to cozy up to a murderous dictator. They also said the move, if taken, would rob U.S. intelligence agencies of a crucial tool to learn more about the isolated country.

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