White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday defended President Trump’s weekend Twitter comments that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” by negotiating with North Korea.
“We’ve been clear that now is not the time to talk,” Sanders said during the daily White House press briefing.
She said the only conversations the administration has had with Pyongyang are those that have been focused on returning Americans detained in that country such as Otto Warbier, the 22-year-old student who died in June shortly after his return from a 17-month imprisonment in North Korea.
“Those were the type of conversations that this administration was willing to have. Beyond that there will be no conversations with North Korea at this time,” Sanders said.
Tillerson on Saturday said Washington was in direct talks with Pyongyang and had opened multiple channels of communication with North Korean officials.