White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday defended President Donald Trump's position that he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying the conditions "do not exist now" and that they may "never be there."
Spicer took several questions — and flak — from the media about the president's statement to Bloomberg News that he would be "honored" to meet with Kim.
"We are so early in this process that I don't see this happening any time soon," Spicer said at the press briefing. "Those circumstances aren't present today. There would have to be significant change for that to be a possibility."
Spicer was on the defensive over Trump's remarks earlier Monday.
"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it," Trump told Bloomberg News.
Spicer reiterated that any meeting would have to be "under the right circumstances."
"The key part of the president's statement was under the right circumstances — those circumstances do not exist now," Spicer said. "If North Korea continues down a degree of provocative behavior, those circumstances will never be there.
"We want to hold out the possibility if they were ever serious about completely dismantling its nuclear capability and taking away the threat that they pose both to the region and to us there's always going to be a possibility of that occurring. That possibility is not there at this time."
Spicer was hammered as to why Trump said he would be "honored" to meet Kim.
Kim is "still the head of state," Spicer said. "So there's a diplomatic piece to this."
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