President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States would walk away from a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — before it happens or while it's going on — "if it's not a meeting that will be fruitful."
"If I think it's not going to be a meeting that will be fruitful, we're not going to go," Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
"If the meeting is not fruitful when I'm there, I will leave the meeting.
"I like always remaining flexible — and I will remain flexible here."
Trump's declaration came as he tweeted earlier Wednesday that CIA Director Mike Pompeo met secretly with Kim in North Korea over the Easter holiday.
Pompeo "got along with him really well," the president told reporters earlier Wednesday. "Really great — and he's that kind of a guy."
The president also used the meeting to step up the campaign to get Pompeo confirmed as secretary of state in a Senate floor vote that could take place as early as next week.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and two Democrats, Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Tim Kaine of Virginia, have said they will oppose Pompeo's confirmation.
"A lot of people are predicting other things, but I have a feeling it's going to work out very well," Trump told reporters earlier.
"Our country really needs him," he said. "He's going to be a great leader."
President Trump and Kim are now expected to meet in late May or early June — and he insisted that the objective of the talks is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
"Hopefully, that meeting will be great success and we're looking forward to it," Trump said. "It will be a tremendous thing for North Korea and a tremendous thing for the world.
"We will be doing everything possible to make it a worldwide success. Not just for the United States, but for the entire world.
"We hope to see the day when the whole Korean peninsula can live together in safety, prosperity and peace."
On the Russia investigation, Trump declined to say whether he would fire special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller after Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey last year.
"As far as the two gentlemen you told me about," Trump said as he referenced a reporter's question, "they've been saying I'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months — and they are still here."
He reiterated his longstanding position that his campaign did not collude with Moscow and slammed the investigation as "really a hoax created largely by the Democrats."
Trump said the Democrats conjured up Russia "as way of softening the blow of a loss, which is a loss that frankly they shouldn't have had from the standpoint that it's very easy for them.
"This is a hoax."
The president said that his lawyers have turned over about 1.4 million pages of documents to Mueller's investigators and expressed hope that the probe would end soon.
"Nobody has ever been more transparent than I have," he said. "I have instructed our lawyers to be totally transparent.
"I haven't used, that I know of or for the most part, presidential powers or privilege.
"We are hopefully coming to the end," President Trump said. "It's a bad thing for our country.
"Very, very bad thing for our country.
"There's been no collusion," he insisted. "They won't find any collusion.
"It doesn't exist."
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