North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “begged” for the summit with President Trump to go on after Trump canceled it last month, Rudy Giuliani reportedly said Wednesday.
Speaking in Tel Aviv, Giuliani claimed that after Trump sent a letter to Kim Jong Un calling off the June 12 talks in Singapore, Kim “got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”
Trump has since announced that the meeting with Kim is back on and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Tuesday that it would be held at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore.
The former New York mayor, who is also part of Trump’s legal team handling special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, defended his sharp comments in an interview with The Associated Press, turning down the notion that they could affect the mood before the historic meeting.
“It is pointing out that the president is the stronger figure,” Giuliani told outlet. “And you’re not going to have useful negotiations unless he accepts that.”
In a letter addressed to Kim last month, Trump called off the summit, calling the talks “inappropriate” following the “hostility” displayed in earlier comments from the regime.
“Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the May 24 letter. “Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
Giuliani told The Associated Press that after the North Koreans insulted Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and threatened the “nuclear annihilation” of the U.S., the president had no other option but to cancel the summit.
“President Trump didn’t take that,” Giuliani said. “What he did was he called off the summit.”
The attorney elaborated on “what I mean by begging for it,” saying after the meeting was canceled, Kim quickly changed his position, expressed willingness to discuss denuclearization and asked to have the summit again.
Giuliani further noted that he was sharing a personal opinion and was not part of the U.S. foreign policy team.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.