President Trump, seated next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Friday, said he doesn't think North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un is "playing," although other administrations were "played like a fiddle" because the U.S. had different leaders.
Mr. Trump, asked how he knows Kim isn't playing the U.S., as the U.S. looks to set up a meeting with the North Koreans, said he thinks Kim is serious. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, signing an agreement to end their war and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Trump has said he wants North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons.
"Oh, I don't think he's playing," Mr. Trump said of Kim. "No, I don't think he's playing. You know, it's never gone like this. It's never gone this far. I don't think it's ever had this enthusiasm for somebody, for them wanting to make a deal. And yeah I agree, the United States has been played differently, like a fiddle, because you had a different kind of a leader. We're not going to be played, OK? We're going to hopefully make a deal. If we don't, that's fine. The United States in the past was played like a fiddle."
"This isn't like past administrations, we don't play games," Mr. Trump added later.
Mr. Trump alsoby Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee outlining its conclusion in the investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign earlier Friday very "strong." Mr. Trump reiterated that there was "no collusion" and called the Russia probe into any connection with Trump aides a "witch hunt," as he has in the past.
The report concluded, "While the committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns."
Merkel's visit comes at a critical time for international relations on multiple fronts. Aside from any negotiations with North Korea, the deadline for determining whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran deal is in two weeks.
"We have a really great relationship," Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office of Merkel, adding they had a great relationship from the start, even if other people didn't think so.