President Donald Trump offered a breath mint to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit in Singapore in 2018 but Kim was worried that it may have been poisoned, former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in her memoir.
Sanders, who served as Trump's spokesperson from 2017 to 2019, made the revelation in her recent memoir, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House," which released on Tuesday.
Trump Blew Into the Air to 'Reassure' Kim
In the book, Sanders said Trump offered Kim a Tic Tac breath mint at the beginning of a luncheon held during their summit in June 2018 and said the dictator appeared confused at first and was "probably concerned" that it might be a poison capsule.
Seeing the North Korean leader's reluctance, Trump swallowed a couple of the breath mints and then "dramatically blew into the air to reassure Kim it was just a breath mint" and not an attempt to poison him, according to Sanders.
The former U.S. press secretary also said North Korean officials carried out thorough safety inspections for their leader during the summit and even inspected a pen Kim was supposed to use to sign a joint statement with Trump.
Kim Was Afraid of Being Assassinated at Summit
The North Korean leader was extremely worried about potential attempts on his life at the summit, according to sources cited by Bloomberg in a report published days before the historic meeting that would bring Kim the furthest he is ever been from his country since coming to power.
In 2017, North Korea accused the U.S. and South Korean intelligence services of hatching an assassination plot against Kim with a "biochemical substance."
According to North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency, "a hideous terrorists' group" directed by CIA and South Korean spies "ideologically corrupted" a North Korean dissident identified and paid the man more than $20,000 to carry out the assassination with with a bio-chemical weapon, such as a "radioactive" and "nano poisonous" substance.
Kim's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was also assassinated in neighboring Malaysia with a nerve agent, which authorities believe was ordered by Kim.