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PERRIS, California: Investigators on Wednesday (Jan 17) conducted an exhaustive search of the foul-smelling, filthy tract home east of Los Angeles where a California couple are accused of keeping captive and nearly starving 13 minor and adult children, police said.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, were set to go before a judge in Riverside County on Thursday on charges of torture and child endangerment in the case, which came to light over the weekend after a 17-year-old girl escaped through a window and alerted police.
"We have investigators on scene, combing through everything they can find for additional evidence," Riverside Sheriff's Deputy Mike Vasquez said by telephone.
"They're trying to gather more information that may assist them in providing a full description of what was going on there.
"The whole house is a crime scene," he added.
Officers raided the house in the small city of Perris, about 113 km east of Los Angeles, on Sunday after the 17-year-old, whose name was not released, called the 911 emergency number on a cellphone. She was so small and emaciated, officers at first thought she was about 10 years old.
On Wednesday, police and prosecutors prepared for the arraignment of each parent on nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment.
The couple is accused of keeping 13 offspring, ages 2 to 29, in filthy and fetid conditions, chaining some to their beds and giving them so little food the adult children were initially mistaken for minors, police said. They are believed to be the couple's biological children, Vasquez said.
Neighbours and family members have offered little insight into the couple's motivations or actions. Experts have said it may have been easier for the parents to shield their children from scrutiny because they were home-schooled.
Reached by telephone Wednesday at the West Virginia home of David Turpin's parents, his mother, Betty Turpin, said she was busy preparing paperwork and entering information into a computer to help her son. She said the family had engaged an attorney, who advised them not to speak about the case.
On Tuesday, Louise Turpin's sister, Teresa Robinette, told reporters in Knoxville, Tennessee, that she was not aware of the conditions at the family's California home.
"We always thought she was living the perfect life," Robinette said of her sister. "She would tell us they went to Disneyland all the time. They would go to Vegas."
TORONTO: A selfie posted on Facebook showing Cheyanne Antoine, 21, wearing a black belt eventually led to her being convicted for killing Brittney Gargol, reported by reporters.
Antoine pleaded guilty on Monday (Jan 15) to killing Gargol two years ago in the Canadian city of Saskatoon.
Gargol was strangled to death and she was found "unresponsive" by the side of a road, reporters said. Antoine's belt was found near her body.
Just hours before the incident took place, a selfie was posted on Facebook showing both Antoine and Gargol together. A small detail in the photo also showed the belt that was found near Gargol's body.
Antoine was then identified as a suspect.
As part of her plea, Antoine took responsibility for Gargol's death, but said she did not remember killing her.
She added that Gargol had been her best friend and that they had been out drinking the night of the incident. They got into an argument that same night.
Antoine is also said to have then led the police on a wild goose chase by posting on Facebook asking where Gargol was, reporters said.
She then told the police that the pair had gone to several bars, but security footage showed that neither of them were at Colonial Pub and Grill, a bar that Antoine claimed they had gone to.
However, Antoine is said to have shown up at a friend's house on the night of the murder and confessed to killing Gargol, reporters said.
Antoine was sentenced to seven years in jail for manslaughter.
She later apologised in a statement through her lawyer, reporters said.
"I will never forgive myself. Nothing I say or do will ever bring her back. I am very, very sorry ... It shouldn't have ever happened."
Members of Gargol's family also came forward with offer their statements, reported by reporters.
"Most days we can't stop thinking about Brittney what happened that night; what she must have felt fighting for her life," said Gargol's aunt.
PARIS: Earth's surface will almost certainly not warm up four or five degrees Celsius by 2100, according to a study released Wednesday (Jan 17) which, if correct, voids worst-case UN climate change predictions.
A revised calculation of how greenhouse gases drive up the planet's temperature reduces the range of possible end-of-century outcomes by more than half, researchers said in the report, published in the journal Nature.
"Our study all but rules out very low and very high climate sensitivities," said lead author Peter Cox, a professor at the University of Exeter.
How effectively the world slashes CO2 and methane emissions, improves energy efficiency, and develops technologies to remove CO2 from the air will determine whether climate change remains manageable or unleashes a maelstrom of human misery.
But uncertainty about how hot things will get also stems from the inability of scientists to nail down a very simple question: By how much will Earth's average surface temperature go up if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is doubled?
That "known unknown" is called equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), and for the last 25 years the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the ultimate authority on climate science - has settled on a range of 1.5 degrees Celsius to 4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cox and colleagues, using a new methodology, have come up with a far narrower range: 2.2 degrees Celsius to 3.4 degrees Celsius, with a best estimate of 2.8 degrees Celsius.
If accurate, it precludes the most destructive doomsday scenarios.
"These scientists have produced a more accurate estimate of how the planet will respond to increasing CO2 levels," said Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.
Gabi Hegerl, a climate scientist at the University of Edinburgh who, like Forster, did not take part in the research, added: "Having lower probability for very high sensitivity is reassuring.
"Very high sensitivity would have made it extremely hard to limit climate change according to the Paris targets."
PRESSURE STILL ON
The landmark Paris climate agreement in 2015 called for capping global warming at "well under" 2 degrees Celsius compared to a pre-industrial benchmark, and pursuing efforts for a 1.5 degrees Celsius ceiling.
The findings should not been seen as taking pressure off the need to tackle climate change, the authors and other experts warned.
"We will still see significant warming and impacts this century if we don't increase our ambition to reduce CO2 emissions," said Forster.
Even a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase will have consequences.
With a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the Earth is already coping with a crescendo of climate impacts including deadly droughts, erratic rainfall, and storm surges engorged by rising seas.
A 3.5 degrees Celsius world, scientists say, could pull at the fabric of civilisation.
Since industrialisation took off in the early 19th century, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by nearly half, from 280 parts per million to 407 parts per million.
Up to now, attempts to narrow down the elusive equilibrium climate sensitivity have focused on the historical temperature record.
Cox and colleagues instead "considered the year-to-year fluctuations in global temperature," said Richard Allan, a climate scientist at the University of Reading.
By analysing the responsiveness of short-term changes in temperature to "nudges and bumps" in the climate system, he explained, they were able to exclude the outcomes that would have resulted in devastating increases of 4 degrees Celsius or more by 2100.
One wild card not taken into consideration by the new model is the possibility of rapid shifts in climate brought on by the planet itself.
"There is indeed evidence that the climate system can undergo abrupt changes or 'tipping points'," Cox told reporters.
The collapse of the gulf stream, the thawing of carbon-rich permafrost, or the melting of ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica - any of these could quickly change the equation, and not in the Earth's favour.
WASHINGTON: Donald Trump is expected to remain physically fit for the duration of his presidency and has "no cognitive issues whatsoever," according to full results from his first medical examination released on Tuesday (Jan 16).
Trump's critics have openly questioned his mental health, and an explosive book on his presidency published earlier this month described aides as having doubts about his fitness for office.
"All data indicates the president is healthy and will remain so for the duration of his presidency," doctor Ronny Jackson told a White House briefing following last week's physical, which determined the 71-year-old to be in "excellent" health.
"He has incredible genes and that's the way God made him."
Jackson said Trump, who has recently faced a swirl of speculation about his mental fitness, had himself requested a cognitive test in which he performed "exceedingly well."
"I think he saw doing the physical as an opportunity to put some of that to rest," Jackson said. "And I think he wasn't the least bit concerned that he had anything to hide."
The screening was carried out using a test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, on which Trump scored 30/30, Jackson said.
Jackson gave the president's vital statistics as follows: height six feet three inches (1.90 meters), weight 239 pounds (108 kilograms), resting heart rate 68, blood pressure 122/74.
WEIGHT LOSS GOAL
Trump will be making some changes to his diet and exercise in an effort to lose weight.
"I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is to lose 10 to 15 pounds. We talked about diet and exercise a lot. He's more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part, but we're gonna do both," said Jackson.
"There's a gym upstairs and we'll get that set up to his specifications and we'll see how that goes."
Heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac output were all normal in response to exercise, while motor function and sensory system were also normal, Jackson said of Friday's exam at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre.
"He has incredible cardiac fitness at this point in his life and I think a large part of that is due to the fact he has had a life of abstinence from tobacco and alcohol," Jackson said.
Long-running questions about Trump's fitness for office were given new fuel by Michael Wolff's White House expose in which staff expressed concern about Trump repeating himself.
Wolff expounded further in an interview with reporters, saying: "One hundred percent of the people around him" question Trump's fitness for office.
"They all say he is like a child. And what they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. It's all about him," said Wolff.
Trump described the book as "full of lies," and described himself as "a very stable genius."
WASHINGTON: The United States held back US$65 million meant for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians on Tuesday (Jan 16), two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened future payments.
State Department officials insisted the decision was not taken to pressure Palestinian leaders, but because the US wants other countries to help fund a reformed UNRWA.
But the call came after a behind-the-scenes tussle between hawks who want to cut all aid to Palestinians and officials concerned about the humanitarian and diplomatic fallout.
The State Department said US$60 million of what had been a planned US$125 million package would go through to keep the agency running, but the rest will be withheld for now.
"This is not aimed at punishing anyone," spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.
"The United States government, and the Trump administration, believe that there should be more so-called burden-sharing to go around," she said.
"We would like other countries, in fact other countries that criticise the United States for what they believe to be our position vis-a-vis the Palestinians ... to step forward."
The State Department's position raised skepticism in the light of a tweet sent by Trump on Jan 2, at the time when the US$125 million contribution had been due to be paid.
"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect," Trump wrote.
"They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel," he protested, adding: "Why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"
Following Trump's outburst, it was reported that his ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had been pushing for a complete end to US aid to UNRWA.
But voluntary payments from the US are the biggest single source of support for the 68-year-old body, and other US officials opposed an immediate and total suspension.
Officials said Tuesday's compromise would allow UNRWA schools and clinics in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in Gaza and in neighboring Arab countries to remain open for now.
"There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded," one official said on condition of anonymity.
But, even as US officials said the decision was not political and not intended to use the fate of refugees as a lever, Israel welcomed the delay as a victory for their arguments.
Israel's UN envoy Danny Danon said the agency misuses aid and "supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate."
He accused UNRWA's leaders of allowing "terror tunnels" to be dug under schools and teaching Palestinian children to deny the existence of the state of Israel.
"It is time for this absurdity to end and for humanitarian funds to be directed toward their intended purpose - the welfare of refugees," he declared.
The Palestinians also saw the US decision as political.
A statement issued by Hanan Ashrawi of the executive council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation accused Washington of seeking to dismantle UNRWA at Israel's behest.
She accused the US of "targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life.
"It is also creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent," she warned.
UNRWA has provided health care, emergency aid and schooling to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as well as Gaza and neighboring Arab countries, since 1950.
The United States has long been its biggest donor, with large voluntary payments topping up the budget that other UN member states provide for the frontline agency.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had not been informed of Washington's decision, but was "very concerned" by reports that it was in the works.
"I strongly hope that in the end, it will be possible for the United States to maintain the funding of UNRWA," he said. "UNRWA is not a Palestinian institution, but a UN institution."
PERRIS, Calif.: Police said on Tuesday they were still seeking answers after finding 13 siblings starving in their parents' squalid Southern California home, some of them chained to beds under "horrific" conditions in an otherwise ordinary suburb.
The grim situation was discovered on Sunday after an emaciated 17-year-old girl escaped through a window of the home in a newer subdivision of Perris, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles, and called 911, police said.
"I wish I could come to you today with information that would explain why this happened," said Captain Greg Fellows of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. "But we do need to acknowledge the courage of the young girl who escaped from that residence to bring attention so they could get the help they so needed."
The parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested at their darkened, foul-smelling house after the girl's 12 siblings were found there.
The shocking case quickly prompted questions of how the victims, who ranged in age from 2 to 29 years old, could have been kept in such grim conditions without raising suspicions of neighbours or authorities.
But some experts said it may have been easier for the parents to shield their children from scrutiny because they were home-schooled.
"One of the things that was interesting was, he (Turpin) set up his own home school so the kids were accounted for and not really seen by anybody," said Sherryll Kraizer, a child-abuse prevention expert and the founder of the Coalition for Children.
The California Department of Education lists the Turpin address, where the family has lived since 2014, as the location of the Sandcastle Day School, with David Turpin as principal.
Six of the couple's children are minors, while the rest are over 18, according to neighbours, meaning they are adults under the law.
David and Louise Turpin were each charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment. They were being held on US$9 million bail, with an initial court hearing scheduled for Thursday.
'I WOULD CALL THAT TORTURE'
Police who responded to the girl's 911 call saw that the children were malnourished, Fellows said, calling conditions "horrific." Even so, he said, the mother appeared perplexed about why the police were there.
"If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished, and injuries associated with that," Fellows said. "I would call that torture."
Authorities quickly began seeking court authorization to take custody of the children. The state Child Protective Services agency was assisting in an investigation.
Kimberly Milligan, 50, said she only saw the infant in the mother's arms and three other children since she moved in across the street two years ago, describing them as small and pale.
"Why don't we ever see the kids?" Milligan said she asked herself. "In hindsight, we would have never thought this. But there were red flags. You never don't hear or see nine kids."
Two years ago, while walking around the neighbourhood admiring Christmas lights, Milligan said she had encountered three of the Turpin children and complimented them on the manger with a baby Jesus set up outside the house. She said the children froze, as if by doing so they could become invisible.
"Twenty-year-olds never act like that," she said. "They didn't want to have a social conversation."
Nicole Gooding, 35, who has lived in the neighbourhood for three years, said the first time she saw the family was two months ago when the mother and children were cleaning up their yard, which was full of weeds and overflowing trash cans.
"I had never seen them at all until that day," she said.
The parents home-schooled the children strictly and required them to memorize long passages from the Bible, David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty Turpin of West Virginia, told reporters.
In 2010, David Turpin left his job at Lockheed Martin Corp, a company spokeswoman said. He also worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman Corp. Both are aeronautics and defence companies.
Unable to keep up with the family's expenses, Turpin filed for bankruptcy in 2011, an attorney who represented him, Ivan Trahan, told reporters on Tuesday.
At the time, the lawyer said, the couple spoke highly of their children.
A Northrop spokesman declined to say whether Turpin was still employed there but said the company was "deeply troubled" by the nature of the allegations.
David and Louise Turpin appeared to have had marriage-renewal ceremonies at least three times, in 2011, 2013 and 2015, at an Elvis Presley-themed chapel in Las Vegas, according to the chapel's YouTube page.
A video showed 10 female children in matching purple plaid dresses walking down the aisle ahead of Louise toward David, who waited anxiously at the altar with two male children in suits.
An Elvis Chapel representative did not respond to a request for comment.
A joint Facebook page that appeared to have been created by the parents showed the couple at the same chapel dressed in wedding clothes, surrounded by the 13 children.
LOS ANGELES: A California couple has been arrested after authorities found a dozen of their malnourished children held captive in their home, with one as young as two and some shackled to beds in the dark, officials said Monday (Jan 15).
Authorities launched a torture probe and set bail at US$9 million for the parents after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house on Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone found inside.
She was so "emaciated" that officers said they originally thought she was only 10 years old.
The 13 victims who had been held captive at the Perris, California home range in age from two to 29, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. They were not named.
"Further investigation revealed several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings, but the parents were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner," the statement added.
"Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty."
The sheriff's office said "the victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving."
The parents, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin, were booked on torture and child endangerment charges.
Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services assisted in the investigation.
VANCOUVER: Foreign ministers from 20 nations began crisis talks Monday (Jan 15) on North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, though China's absence cast doubt over the effectiveness of any deal.
The two-day Vancouver meeting hosted by Canada and the United States comes amid signs of easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, after the North and South met for the first time in two years and Pyongyang agreed to sent athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
And tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, which claimed it had successfully tested ballistic missiles that could deliver atomic warheads to the United States, appear to have calmed as well.
But the United States, which will review with allies at the summit the effectiveness of current sanctions against the hermit kingdom and explore adding more, remains skeptical that Kim is ready to negotiate away North Korea's weapons program.
Over the weekend, a false alarm in Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile rattled nerves, while US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un have traded bluster over who has the bigger nuclear launch button at his desk.
The so-called Vancouver Group is formed by 20 countries that fought in the 1950-53 Korean War. They include Australia, Britain, France, India, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea. Military officials will also be present at the meeting.
Many have questioned the utility of a conference where China - Pyongyang's main ally - and Russia are absent.
But officials said both countries, which hold veto power at the United Nations Security Council, would be briefed afterward.
China and Russia "absolutely will play an important role in moving toward peace on the Korean peninsula," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week.
On Monday at his annual press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly attacked the US, accusing Washington of issuing ultimatums and failing to recognise "the reality of the emerging multipolar world."
"Unfortunately, our American colleagues and their allies still want to do business solely on the basis of issuing ultimatums and do not want to listen to the views of other centres of world politics," he said, adding that Washington was to blame for having "seriously aggravated" tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Pope Francis, meanwhile, admitted that he was frightened by the prospects of an accidental nuclear war.
"I think we are at the very edge," he told reporters aboard his plane en route to Chile for a week-long visit there and in Peru.
"I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things."
The Vancouver meeting kicked off late Monday with a dinner and several bilateral meetings, before a full gathering on Tuesday to hammer out next steps in the standoff.
Among the proposals to be considered is sending warships to the Sea of Japan to stop and inspect suspect ships bound for North Korea in order to enforce sanctions.
South Korea already seized two ships carrying oil to the North in December.
Some countries, however, have warned that such methods could increase military tensions or be interpreted as an act of war by Kim's isolated regime.
PUSH FOR DIPLOMACY
The ultimate aim is to force Kim into a diplomatic negotiation to abandon the weapons his regime sees as crucial for its survival.
Trump recently said that, under the right circumstances, he would be willing to speak directly with the North Korean leader, whom he has described as mad and a "rocket man."
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meanwhile, sought to drum up EU pressure on North Korea over the weekend during a six-country trip to the Baltics and the Balkans.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who advocates dialogue with the North but remains critical of Pyongyang's weapons drive, said last week he was willing to have a summit with Kim "under the right conditions", but added that "certain outcomes must be guaranteed."
In a setback for such hopes, Pyongyang slammed Moon as "ignorant and unreasonable" for demanding preconditions - possibly a step toward denuclearisation - for a summit.
"The South Korean chief executive should not be dreaming," the state-run KCNA news agency said in an editorial, accusing Moon of "brownnosing" the United States.
North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. Its agreement to send athletes, an orchestra and high-level officials to next month's Winter Olympics is seen in part as a move to ease military tensions with the US.
Seoul touted the recent inter-Korean talks as a potential first step to bringing the North into negotiations over its nuclear arsenal.
Further bilateral talks between the North and South are scheduled for Wednesday, after the Vancouver meeting.
The number of people missing from last week's deadly Southern California mudslides fell to three on Monday (Jan 15) as hundreds of rescue workers searched for survivors from the rain-driven slides that killed 20 people.
A 53-year-old transient, John Keating, had been listed among the four still missing but was found safely in Ventura, California, with his dog, the Santa County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Three people ages 2 to 28 are still listed as missing after sheriff's detectives investigated more than 100 missing persons cases, the statement said.
Emergency officials said hopes were diminishing that they would pull more survivors from the ravaged landscape of hardened muck, boulders and twisted debris left behind by the Tuesday mudslides that scoured a landscape already barren from last year's record-setting wildfires.
The mudslides that scoured the affluent community of Montecito, 137km northwest of Los Angeles, caused the greatest loss of life from a California mudslide in at least 13 years.
Ten people perished in January 2005 when a hillside saturated by weeks of torrential rains collapsed in the seaside hamlet of La Conchita, 29km southeast of Montecito, burying more than a dozen homes in seconds.
The White House on Monday said that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the situation.
"The President and First Lady extend their deepest sympathies to the families affected, their appreciation for the first responders saving lives, and their prayers for those who remain missing," the White House said in a statement.
Another 900 emergency personnel arrived this weekend to join the relief effort conducted by more than 2,100 personnel from local, state and federal agencies.
The destruction covered 78 square km, leaving 65 single-family homes demolished and more than 450 damaged. Nearly 30 commercial properties were damaged or destroyed, officials said.
As a precaution against further slides, officials have ordered residents in most of the southeastern corner of Montecito to leave their homes for what was likely to be one or two weeks.
PALM BEACH, Florida: US President Donald Trump on Sunday (Jan 14) disputed a newspaper's account of an interview with him last week in which he was quoted as saying he probably had a "very good relationship" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Accusing the Wall Street Journal of misquoting him, Trump said in tweets that he told the newspaper on Thursday that "I'd probably" have a good relationship with Kim, using a conditional tense, which he insisted was a "big difference."The White House released a portion of the audio from the interview that it said showed Trump said "I'd." The Wall Street Journal released its own audio that it said backed up its version of the events.
The Trump comment was important because any hint that there had been direct contacts between the two leaders, who have exchanged threats and insults, would suggest a major shift in the US-led pressure campaign against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump has derided the North Korean leader as a “maniac” and referred to him disparagingly as “little rocket man”. Kim has responded by calling the US president a “mentally deranged US dotard".
Fears of war have eased somewhat after the first round of intra-Korean talks in more than two years last week, which Trump has welcomed, ahead of February's Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea. North Korea has said it will participate in the Games.
But a false emergency alert of an impending missile attack issued by Hawaii state authorities on Saturday underscored the threat from North Korea, which is developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.
"We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters in Florida on Sunday when asked what he would do to resolve the North Korea standoff.
He cited upcoming meetings, possibly a reference to further talks planned between North and South Korea. "Hopefully it’s all gonna work out," Trump added. "We have great talks going on, the Olympics you know about, a lot of things can happen.”
In the Wall Street Journal interview, Trump was asked whether he had spoken with the North Korean leader.
“I don’t want to comment on it. I‘m not saying I have or haven‘t. I just don’t want to comment," he had said.
Trump, who is spending a long weekend at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, tweeted on Sunday: "Obviously I didn’t say that. I said 'I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,' a big difference. Fortunately we now record conversations with reporters ... and they knew exactly what I said and meant. They just wanted a story. FAKE NEWS!"
A White House official said the delay in publicly disputing the Journal's account was the result of a failed attempt to get the paper to correct the record.
"The reason there was a delay is because we had several calls and emails with WSJ, starting Friday morning, asking them to issue a correction. They refused and so we pushed out our own clarification," the official said.