WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, in a burst of tweets Wednesday morning, confirmed reports that CIA Director Mike Pompeo had met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, weighed in for the first time via tweet on the Stormy Daniels controversy, and said he did not fire former FBI Director James Comey over the Russia investigation, despite making previous comments to the contrary.
“Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week,” Trump tweeted. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”
The tweet came a day after The Washington Post reported that Pompeo, who is awaiting confirmation to serve as secretary of state, met with Kim over Easter weekend in a top-secret trip to Pyongyang. The talks came as the United States and North Korea work out the details for a high-stakes summit between Trump and Kim.
Trump, who is spending the week at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate for a two-day summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also took aim at Daniels, who has alleged she had an affair with Trump. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said that in 2011 a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot and threatened her to stay quiet about her alleged tryst with Trump.
On Tuesday, Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” released a composite sketch of the man. On Wednesday, Trump responded on Twitter: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”
That tweet was in response to one from another Twitter user, who posted the sketch alongside a photo of Daniels’ purported ex-boyfriend, suggesting that both looked the same.
The tweet marked the president’s first directed at the Daniels story since reports emerged in February that Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted paying her $130,000 days before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence. Cohen, now at the center of a federal probe over his actions as an attorney, has said Trump was unaware of the payout.
Avenatti responded to Trump’s tweet shortly after, saying: “In my experience, there is nothing better in litigation than having a completely unhinged, undisciplined opponent who is prone to shooting himself in the foot. Always leads to BIGLY problems . . . like new claims (i.e. defamation). LOL.”
The president also revived his attacks against Comey, as the former FBI head continues to give media interviews criticizing Trump as he promotes his tell-all chronicle, “A Higher Loyalty.”
“Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!” Trump tweeted.
Trump, who fired Comey last May, initially cited Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email server probe as the reason for ousting him, but in a sit-down interview with NBC News, days later he also cited the FBI’s probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election as a factor.
“Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt. “And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.’ ”
Comey, in recent interviews, has said he believes it’s possible that the Russians have compromising information on Trump, and has criticized the president for saying on Twitter that Comey should be jailed.
“I’m like a breakup he can’t get over,” Comey told CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert during a Tuesday night appearance. “I’m out there living my best life. He wakes up in the morning and tweets at me.”