Trump acknowledges “top secret” emails to North Korean leader

Trump Acknowledged in Interview That Letters to Kim Were ‘Top Secret’

President Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview that letters he wrote to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were “top secret,” although his aides are not known to have seen them. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The letters are not part of the public record, and it will be up to a court to decide whether they are government documents.

But White House officials told CNN late Wednesday night that Trump did indeed acknowledge the existence of the emails. The senior national security official said Trump said he did not see the letters, and that he learned of their existence from news reports. But they had the potential to be embarrassing and therefore to be discussed with his aides.

“I think the president has said multiple times, I think the letter was top secret,” the official said.

Trump was asked by an interviewer whether he would testify to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team that he didn’t know about the letters and whether he was ever shown them.

“I think I’ve told you both — let’s see what happens,” Trump said. “But they’re very interesting letters, very interesting to look at.”

Earlier Wednesday, the president told the press he didn’t remember the conversations surrounding the letters, which he believes are from his time as a private citizen.

“What I am comfortable with is the fact that I will tell them everything,” he said. “The president has my total support.”

The emails include a request for a meeting with a foreign government, one that Trump previously dismissed. He also requested that Kim halt his nuclear weapons program, which the North Koreans have carried on despite repeated rounds of sanctions.

The White House has maintained that he never sent the emails to the State Department, and the senior national security official said there is no publicly available evidence that supports Trump’s claim that he had.

In addition to the “Top Secret” classification, the State Department does not publish correspondence among its senior-level officials, although the department used to make a practice of sharing such internal records.

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