A Time Magazine reporter received a fierce and full rebuke from President Trump when the reporter tried to snap a picture of a private letter sent to Trump from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The interaction occurred during a one-hour sit-down interview between Trump and the publication. At various points of the interview, Trump requested to go off-the-record. One of these moments included Trump sharing the letter in confidentiality, the Washington Examiner reports.
Check it out:
As the photo was being taken, the reporter, in the midst of a contentious conversation about Robert Mueller’s investigation, said to Trump, “He [Sessions] testified under oath … under threat of prison time, that was the case, Mr. President.”
Trump, noticing the photograph responded, “Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you … confidentially, I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it — so don’t play that game with me.” The president had asked to go off the record when he shared the letter from Kim Jong Un.
According to the report, the reporter took Trump’s comments as a threat and asked the president to clarify.
“I’m sorry, Mr. President. Were you threatening me with prison time?” the reporter replied.
“Well, I told you the following. I told you can look at this off-the-record,” the president responded. “That doesn’t mean you take out your camera and start taking pictures of it. O.K.? So I hope you don’t have a picture of it. I know you were very quick to pull it out — even you were surprised to see that. You can’t do that stuff. So go have fun with your story.”
The exchange happened in the Oval Office on Monday. Time published the interview transcript on Thursday evening, and that’s when the comment started to get attention.
Here’s the background: Trump showed the four reporters a letter that he said was “written by Kim Jong Un. It was delivered to me yesterday. By hand.” Then he asked to go off-the-record, so that he could make comments that would not be reported or included in the transcript.
A Time journalist who was in the room evidently tried to take a photo of the letter’s contents — and when the interview was back on the record, press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “You can’t take a picture of that, sorry.”
A full transcript of the interview can be read here.