Trump asked why 'pretty Korean lady' wasn't helping with North Korea negotiations


Last fall, after receiving a briefing on Pakistan from a career intelligence officer, Trump reportedly asked the woman, who was briefing the president for her first time, where she was from.

The president likely did not mean harm with his question to the Korean-American intelligence briefer, but it brought concerns that he lacks cultural sensitivity, the officials told NBC News.

President Donald Trump suggested in the Oval Office that a "pretty Korean" analyst's ethnicity should qualify her for negotiating with North Korea on behalf of the United States, NBC News reported Friday.

She told him she was from NY, and, when pressed, she added that she was from Manhattan, according to NBC News.

After she told him that her parents were Korean, Trump went on to ask why the "pretty Korean lady" isn't negotiating with North Korea.

"Where are you from?" the president asked, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the exchange.

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None of the lawmakers knew Carson, and Trump found that surprising, the attendees said.

At a March meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Trump asked the elected officials if they knew just one member of his incoming cabinet - Ben Carson - according to two people in the room.

Trump on Friday tweeted, "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country". The White House did not immediately comment. The senior Democratic senator Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting, subsequently said that he had.

Trump has always been accused by his political rivals of promoting racist attitudes that fueled clashes at some of his campaign rallies in 2016 and emboldened white supremacist groups that viewed Trump's general election win as an opportunity for empowerment.

Trump, it has often been reported, likes to match people to jobs he thinks they look qualified for.

The exchange was detailed to NBC News after Trump's "shithole" remark on Thursday drew backlash and claims that he is racist. MSNBC recently ran a compilation video of Trump talking about people he's hiring, and in each instance says they look like they're from "central casting".