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President Donald Trump walks off the stage after a news conference after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ...

Trump says tough rhetoric led to North Korea summit

SINGAPORE — President Donald Trump says he sometimes “felt foolish” lobbing insults at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But he says without his harsh rhetoric, their summit may never have happened.

Trump is reflecting on his evolving rhetoric in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity in Singapore.

Trump, who had threatened “fire and fury” and called Kim “Little Rocket Man,” says: “I think without the rhetoric we wouldn’t have been here.”

He says that past administrations had what he called “a policy of silence” and didn’t respond when rivals “said something very bad and very threatening and horrible.”

Trump says, “That’s not the answer.”

He says of his rhetoric: “I hated to do it. Sometimes I felt foolish doing it. But we had no choice.”

MORE: Read the document signed by Trump and Kim after the summit

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