Shortly after President Donald Trump publicly signed the document – a joint communiqué – with North Korea’s leader Kim Jung Un at the end of their one-day summit in Singapore, the president sat down – separately – with Sean Hannity of Fox News and ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos for the first post-summit interviews. ABC posted the transcript of its 13-minute interview online at 6:34 AM ET Tuesday morning and broadcast it soon afterwards on Good Morning America. At almost the same time, Fox News emailed a news release with excerpts of Hannity’s interview, the complete version of which will be featured on Hannity Tuesday evening at 9 PM ET on the Fox News channel with a scheduled replay four hours later (10 PM in the Pacific time zone).
A link to Stephanopoulos’s interview transcript with the video is here.
Excerpts from Hannity’s interview provided by Fox News are in the news release below.
FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Sean Hannity sat down for an interview with President Donald Trump following the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. President Trump discussed the denuclearization process, his rhetoric, what it was like in the room, and being open to having multiple meetings. Below are early highlights from the interview, which will air in full this evening on FNC’s Hannity (weeknight 9PM/ET).
On the denuclearization process starting:
“I just think that we are now we are going to start the process of denuclearization of North Korea and I believe that he’s going back and will start it virtually immediately and he’s already indicated that and you look at what he’s done. So we got our hostages back, but they’ve blown up one of their sites, one of their testing sites, their primary testing site, in fact some people say their only testing site, they are getting rid of a missile, which isn’t in the document, that was done afterwards, they’re getting rid of a missile testing site—they’re doing so much now. So it’s a process and its really moving rapidly.”
On how his [the president’s] rhetoric evolved:
“Well I think without the rhetoric we wouldn’t have been here. I really believe that. You know, we did sanctions and all the things you would do but I think without the rhetoric, you know, other administrations, I don’t want to get specific on that, but you know they had a policy of silence. If they said something very bad and very threatening and horrible just don’t answer. That’s not the answer. That’s not what you have to do. So I think the rhetoric, I hated to do it, sometimes I felt foolish doing it, but we had no choice.”
On what it was like in the room with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:
“So we got along very well. We got along from the beginning. We started off, he and myself and two interpreters. And from the beginning we got along. You know I’ve made the statement and I’ve said it before. I’ve said it about a lot of different kinds of relationships you can almost tell at the beginning.”On whether he could tell how the meeting would go from the beginning:
“I felt very good at the beginning. You know I talked about we have to de-nuke – his country has to be de-nuked and he understood that, he fully understood that, he didn’t fight it.”
On being open to having multiple meetings:
“We got along better than I would have assumed right from the beginning. We got a lot more done today than I ever thought possible. And he’s going back, he’s now headed back, and I think he’s gone back to get this done. He wants to get it done. You know, you hear the whole thing about his father and other administrations or his grandfather. The fact is, and he brings that up, but they weren’t dealing with me they were dealing with different people.”
On whether they spoke about the difference between past administrations and the Trump administration:
“Yes, but I can’t say that because I don’t want to be the one saying it. At some point I’m sure he’ll say it but they never got it done. And they were never this close either. I mean it was never to a point where they were like we are.”