NEW YORK • United States President Donald Trump joked to the former White House press secretary, Ms Sarah Sanders, about her “taking one for the team” after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un winked at her during a summit in Singapore in 2018.
Ms Sanders writes about the episode in her book, Speaking For Myself, in which she discusses her time working for Mr Trump, as well as how she may run for governor of her home state of Arkansas and her early days caring for young children.
Throughout, Ms Sanders writes glowingly about her former boss.
Excerpts from the book, which goes on sale next Tuesday, were provided to The New York Times.
Ms Sanders describes the historic summit in Singapore between Mr Trump and Mr Kim in detail, including a moment where she and the North Korean leader “made direct eye contact and Kim nodded and appeared to wink at me”.
She described herself as stunned.
“I quickly looked down and continued taking notes and for the rest of the meeting only looked up from my notes in the direction of the US delegation,” she writes.
On the trip back to Air Force One, Ms Sanders relayed the encounter with Mr Kim to Mr Trump and the White House chief of staff at the time, Mr John Kelly.
The two men burst out laughing, Ms Sanders writes.
“Kim winked at you?” Mr Trump asked, adding, “Are you telling me Kim Jong Un hit on you!?!?”
Ms Sanders made clear she did not mean that, but Mr Trump and Mr Kelly continued to joke about Mr Kim’s intentions.
“Well, Sarah, that settles it,” Ms Sanders recalls the President joking. “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!”
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
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!
FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SARAH SANDERS, in her book, recalling US President Donald Trump joking when she said North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un winked at her.
At another point during the summit, Ms Sanders writes, Mr Trump unnerved Mr Kim when he offered him a Tic Tac sweet.
“Kim, confused, and probably concerned it was an attempt to poison him, wasn’t sure how to respond,” Ms Sanders writes.
“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.”
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