North Korea "outplayed" both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama over the years, President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Tuesday, but he refused to "telegraph" his own plans for dealing with President Kim Jong Un's aggression, simply saying "we will find out" what will happen if he attempts to launch another missile test.
"I don't want to telegraph what I'm doing or thinking; I'm not like other administrations where they say we are going to do this in four weeks," the president told "Fox and Friends" co-anchor Ainsley Earhardt in an interview recorded Monday before the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. "It doesn't work, that 'wait a minute, we will see what happens.'"
Talks have been going on with the increasingly aggressive North Korean leader for years, Trump said, but "everybody has been outplayed."
"I hope things work out well. I hope there is going to be peace," Trump said, before slamming both Obama and Clinton.
"They have been talking with this gentleman for a long time," said Trump. "You read Clinton's book, where they said we made such a great peace deal, and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President [Barack] Obama. Everybody has been outplayed. They have all been outplayed by this gentleman. We will see what happens. I just don't telegraph my moves."
Current North Korean leader Kim, at 33, was not yet the nation's leader during the Clinton administration in the 1990s. He came into power when his father, Kim Jong-Il, died in 2011. Clinton, in 2009, traveled to Pyongyang to visit with the elder leader to win the release of two U.S. journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had been convicted of illegally entering the hardline communist state.
Trump also would not comment on whether the United States sabotaged a failed North Korean missile test over the weekend, and said "we will find out" when asked what happens if North Korea launches another missile.
The president also denied claims by the media that he has softened his tough campaign stance on China.
"Look, China came to the United States," said Trump. "The president [Xi Jinping], who I really developed a very good relationship with. I think he is a terrific person. I really got to know him very well over a two-day period. We were together hours and hours and hours by ourselves. We had a 15-minute schedule meeting and it lasted for three hours. The same thing happened the next day. We have a good chemistry together."
Xi, said Trump, understands that North Korea is "a big problem."
Trump also said he is working with China "with great respect" and he has "great respect" for Xi, but it remains to be seen what he can do.
"Maybe he won't be able to help," said Trump. "That's possible. I think he is trying. Maybe he won't be able to help. That's a whole different story."
He also called reports that he could hit China with claims of currency manipulation "fake media that does a number."
"What am I going to do in the middle of him talking to North Korea I'm going to hit him with currency manipulation?" said Trump. "Think of it. He is working so nicely that many coal ships have been sent back. Fuel is being sent back. They're not dealing the same way. Nobody has ever seen it like that, on our behalf from China."
But the "fake media goes 'Donald Trump has changed his stance on China," said Trump. "I haven't changed my stance. China is trying to help us. I don't know if they're going to be able to or not. Why [would I] want to start heavy trade or currency statements against somebody who is throughout trying to stop what could be a very bad situation? You understand that."
In February, however, Trump, in a Reuters interview, labeled China as "grand champions" in currency manipulation.
Also, during his presidential campaign, Trump often accused China of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make Chinese exports cheaper, and so that it could keep "stealing" American manufacturing jobs.
Trump, however, in the interview Monday, said "we're doing really well" and that "China has been helping and other people have been helping. I don't know if that's going to work. It may have to be a different solution."
The president also in the Tuesday interview echoed statements made over the weekend by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who had commented that a "single DUI" would be enough to put illegal immigrants on the radar and lead to deportation.
"I am letting him run it," Trump said. "He was a great general, successful general...illegal immigrants that have cause crime, raped people, murdered people, horrible things have happened. They are getting the hell out or they are going to prison."
He also said that towns and cities are thanking him, "because we have gotten rid of the burden that you would not believe. I mean, it is a serious problem. And we never did anything about it and now we're doing something about it."
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