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Trump calls Kim Jong Un "very honorable" during Macron visit

Last Updated Apr 24, 2018 3:37 PM EDT

President Trump, in a Cabinet meeting including French President Emmanuel Macron during his White House visit Tuesday, said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been "very honorable" so far, as the U.S. looks to meet with North Korea soon about its nuclear program. 

"Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and, I think, very honorable, from everything we're seeing," Mr. Trump said of the North Korean leader, who is widely viewed as a dictator and whose regime has been blamed for the deaths of his own people.

In the past, Mr. Trump himself has accused Kim of "starving" and "killing" his own people, and he has particularly criticized Kim's regime after the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier. Warmbier's parents were guests of the White House at the president's first State of the Union address in January.

Mr. Trump said North Korea has expressed a desire to have a meeting "as soon as possible." 

Tuesday marks day two of the French president's visit to Washington as part of the Trump administration's first state visit. The two leaders were expected to discuss both diplomatic and international issues relating to the U.S.-French relationship, including the Iran nuclear deal, trade and the Paris accord. Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office with Macron, Mr. Trump said the U.S. never should have entered the Iran deal. Asked if he is considering staying in it though, Mr. Trump gave no definitive answer.

"We'll see," the president said. "People know my views on the Iran deal. It was a terrible deal. It should have never ever been made."

"It's insane," he added. "It's ridiculous. It should never have been made. But we will be talking about it."

Mr. Trump shot down a question from ABC News' Jonathan Karl as to whether he would consider a pardon for Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer who is under a federal criminal investigation.

"Stupid question," the president snapped.

Mr. Trump praised his French counterpart, and said the relationship between the two nations had never been closer.

"He did a good job, a great job," the president said of Macron. "He's going to be a great president of France. Only a prediction."

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there "should be a better deal" when it comes to the Iran nuclear agreement. Macron, a supporter of the agreement, is expected to raise the issue of the possibility of the U.S. withdrawal from the pact.

"We think there should be a better deal, one that's positive, that works," Sanders said at Monday's press briefing. "We don't look to the leadership of Iran to determine what our policy is."

Sanders predicted the two leaders would have "very open and candid conversations" about the Iran deal during the official visit on Tuesday. She added, however, that the president has been "extremely clear" that the current plan is a bad deal and "that certainly has not changed."

The two leaders will take questions in a joint press conference late Tuesday morning.