During a Republican fundraiser dinner on Tuesday, President Donald Trump discussed several military- and foreign policy-related topics that have made headlines during the first months of his presidency, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
After Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” on Twitter and during his first address before the UN General Assembly earlier this month, the two leaders’ war of words subsequently became viral fodder for foreign-policy experts.
According to The Post, citing people who attended the dinner and shared their accounts of Trump’s remarks, Trump said that he did not give Kim the now-infamous nickname in jest and that he thought Rocket Man could be taken as a compliment, not an insult.
When Kim parried Trump’s UN speech with a personal message to Trump in which he called him a “dotard,” Trump said, he decided to ratchet up his own rhetoric in response: “So I said, all right, so now I’ll call him Little Rocket Man,” Trump said at the dinner, according to The Post.
Trump test-drove that moniker at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
“We can’t have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place,” Trump said at the rally. “This shouldn’t be handled now, but I’m gonna handle it because we have to handle it. ‘Little Rocket Man.'”