- Former President Donald Trump said he gave North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a cassette of Elton John’s “Rocketman.”
- Trump first nicknamed Kim “Rocketman” on Twitter in 2017, and continued to use the nickname years after.
- The former president was speaking in Sunrise, Florida as part of his four-date “History Tour.”
Former President Donald Trump claimed gifted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a cassette of Elton John’s 1972 hit song “Rocket Man,” he said during the first night of his four-date “History Tour.”
Speaking to a crowd at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday night, Trump said he presented Kim with the cassette and also a machine to play it on. He didn’t specify when exactly this was.
“I made sure the machine wasn’t made in South Korea,” the former president joked.
—Fla.N8tive (@FN8tive) December 11, 2021
“I played it for him quickly and I said, ‘I did you a favor because you love sending rockets all over the place,'” he continued.
Trump famously first called the North Korean leader “Rocket Man” on Twitter in 2017. He repeated the nickname at a UN General Assembly speech later that week. The former president then continued to use the moniker throughout the rest of his presidency.
Trump told the crowd in Sunrise that he relayed to Kim why he chose the unflattering nickname. “‘I called you Rocketman — that was great — because I could see you, I could envisage you, sitting like you sit on a horse, on a saddle, sitting on a rocket flying over Japan,'” he said.
The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported in 2018 that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought a signed Elton John CD to lunch with Kim, after being ordered to do so by Trump, according to Washington sources.
At the time, NBC News said, Pompeo “neither confirmed nor denied” that he’d been ordered to bring the CD.
Trump’s anecdote on Saturday appears to be the first time the former president has publicly addressed it.