Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un winked at her during a meeting with President Donald Trump.
The incident, which took place during June 2018 Singapore summit between the U.S. and North Korea, drew uproarious laughter from Trump, who boorishly joked that if she went ahead“taking one for the team” she would be considered an American Hero.
Sanders – a deeply Christian conservative – recounted the episode in her new book, “Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House” where she discusses her time working under President Trump (and her abiding loyalty to him), her faith in Jesus as well as raising her children and the possibility that she could run for the governor of Arkansas.
Sanders claims that Trump and Kim were discussing women’s soccer when she looked up and saw the North Korean leader “staring” right at her, reports The Guardian.
“We made direct eye contact and Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me,” Sanders wrote. “I was stunned. I quickly looked down and continued taking notes. All I could think was, ‘What just happened? Surely Kim Jong-un did not just mark me!?”
When she told the president while riding the “Beast” limousine to the airport his then chief of staff, John Kelly, the two men responded with uproarious laughter and apparent delight.
“Kim winked at you?” … Are you telling me Kim Jong-un hit on you!?!?” Trump asked incredulously.
“Kim Jong-un hit on you!” Trump said. “He did! He f*cking hit on you!”
Sanders, the pious daughter of career politician and Christian minister Mike Huckabee, quickly conveyed that she wasn’t suggesting that the North Korean leader was flirting with her.
“Sir, please stop,” she said.
While Kelly continued egging Trump on, the president continued: “Well, Sarah, that settles it. You’re going to North Korea and taking one for the team! Your husband and kids will miss you, but you’ll be a hero to your country!”
While the car continued to drive on, Trump and Kelly “howled with laughter.”
Sanders wrote that at another point, Trump left Kim shocked and bewildered when he offered him a Tic Tac mint candy.
“Kim, confused, and probably concerned it was an attempt to poison him, wasn’t sure how to respond,” Sanders wrote. “The president dramatically blew into the air to reassure Kim it was just a breath mint and took a few from the box and popped them into his mouth. Kim reluctantly accepted the Tic Tac from President Trump and ate it.”
Trump has framed his summits with Kim as one of the crowning achievements of his administration. However, while the war of words has certainly tampered down since the first year of Trump’s presidency, Pyongyang has backed away from further engagement with the White House and complained that the Trump administration’s promises were totally empty.
According to U.N. weapons experts, the East Asian country has persisted in building its nuclear deterrent capabilities while flouting U.N. sanctions. The severely punishing sanctions, which have had an adverse impact on the civilians and government of North Korea, were first imposed following the country’s first nuclear test in 2006.
In July, Kim said that North Korea’s nuclear weapons were a result of great sacrifices by the Korean people and provide a solid security guarantee in the region and a “reliable, effective” means to deter the outbreak of a second Korean War.