White House ‘Can’t Confirm’ Validity of North Korea Prisoner Release

Prisoner in Korea
Kim Kwang Hyon/AP
Washington, DC

During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders could not “confirm the validity” of Wednesday media reports that three U.S. prisoners of North Korea had been released.

A reporter asked Sanders for an “update on the three Americans held in North Korea” and whether they would be released on Thursday, citing comments from Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and legal counsel to President Donald Trump.

Sanders said the White House “can’t confirm the validity of any of the reports currently out about their release.” She added, however, that they “certainly would see this as a sign of goodwill if North Korea were to release the three Americans ahead of discussions between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.”

Another reporter asked if Giuliani and fellow legal counsel to Trump Jay Sekulow had been “involved in any way in efforts to secure” the prisoners, citing comments each has made to the press.

“Not that I’m aware of,” replied Sanders. 

Another reporter asked Sanders if Trump had talked with Giuliani about the prisoners. She replied, “I’m not aware that they spoke about that, so I don’t know.”

The Trump administration has been working to put together a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in May or early June to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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