Trump Threatens to Imprison Photojournalist Who Took Photo of Letter From Kim Jong-un Despite Warnings Not To

Trump Threatens to Imprison Photojournalist Who Took Photo of Letter From Kim Jong-un Despite Warnings Not To

President Trump has scolded a photographer in the Oval Office, even threatening to send him to prison, after the photographer took a picture of a letter from Kim Jong-un.

The Time magazine photographer was allegedly told "you can go to prison instead," according to official sources, after he was first warned by an aide not to take a photo.

An interview was taking place at the White House on Monday, just days before Trump was due to launch his 2020 re-election campaign.

Mr. Trump rebuked the photographer in the Oval Office after he was warned by an aide not to take a photo, according to Time's transcript. It’s said that on several occasions, Trump asked to speak off the record, including during the instance in which he wanted to show reporters the letter from Jong-un. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders seemingly told the journalists: "You can't take a picture of that, sorry."

After the conversation then turned to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the man who testified under oath against Trump, and at the threat of prison time, Trump is said to have snapped back:

Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you confidentially […] I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it. So, don’t play that game with me. Let me just tell you something. You take a look.

When the journalist cut in, asking if he was being threatened with jail time, Trump hit back:

Well, I told you the following. I told you you can look at this off the record. That doesn’t mean you take out your camera and start taking pictures of it. OK? So, I hope you don’t have a picture of it. I know you were very quick to pull it out — even you were surprised to see that. You can’t do that stuff.

Lead image credit: "Donald Trump Sr. at #FITN in Nashua, NH" by Michael Vadon, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0  

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Leigh Miller's picture

For all his big talk the man is a neophyte politically...he's just like all of our loud mouth relatives around the dinner table...all talk. He doesn't know or care a thing about laws or the constitution.

Let it go...sheesh.

Actually he cares a lot. Its the dems who want to uhmm..destroy the electoral college among other things.

Jonathan Brady's picture

The electoral college should be destroyed. At this point in time, it's idiotic to have it.

Jonathan Brady's picture

I think your vote should hold exactly the same weight as mine which should be the same as someone from Anytown, USA.
The Senate is where each state gets an equal say.

David Pavlich's picture

Until the 17th Amendment happened, senators were appointed by the governor to become advocates for their state. Once senators were elected and not appointed, senators became advocates for their party, not their states.

Why should empty land have more political power than real people?

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

The Republicans would have never won, without Gerrymandering... and yes, it should be a popular vote to elect a president. Only this is real democracy.

David Pavlich's picture

The reason that the Founders chose a Representative Republic is because direct democracy is a bad way to run a country.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

"... because direct democracy is a bad way to run a country."

Yeah right, we do it all wrong in Switzerland, don't we? Oh wait, that's why Switzerland probably always ranks in the top 5 of countries with the best quality of life.

David Pavlich's picture

You have a point. But it's a lot easier when you have a population of 8 million as opposed to 300 million. And even with your form of democracy, there are still checks and balances to keep it from becoming 'mob rule' for lack of a better term.

The Representative Republic was chosen along with the Electoral College to avoid the chance that one or two populous states could run the country. AND, the Founders were bound and determined that they would NOT have their new country ruled like the one that they left.

While the system has been compromised, the Founders had great vision considering the time and place that it happened. The Constitution was framed in such a way to tell the government what they couldn't do, unheard of at the time.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

There are many regulations how you can get bills for a vote or not. So there is not a huge problem becoming "mob rules" (it's not a bad term).

In Switzerland we have a similar thing to the Electoral College for certain votes. So I'm familiar with it. The problem in the US is, that (as I mentioned) Gerrymandering changed everything. I'm pretty sure that this isn't what your Founders thought of.

As you said, the system's compromised, so in Switzerland too.

New York City has a greater population than your entire country.... completely difference set of dynamics. Representative Government ensures that everyone's vote matters....

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

You don't know much about Switzerland, do you? You would be very surprised about the similarities to the US Government. Just for short. There are 26 Cantons in Switzerland. They are similar to your states. Every canton has it's own laws/taxes and the Federal law/taxes. Every cantone has it's own Government and at Federal level there is an institution like your Congress. Two chambers like the US has. There are also cantons, which have more population (like Zurich) than others. But hey that does not mean, they have the power... Switzerland is a "Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party parliamentary directorial republic" (

By the way... we are not allowed to elect our Federal Council! They get elected by the Federal Assembly (it's our "Congress").... So I'm very critical against my own country too, when I'm saying a President should be elected by a popular vote....

This may help you learn about our Country's form of Government.

The word Republic means no monarch. It doesn't mean no democracy, or even indirect democracy. Iran is a republic. The Congo is a Republic. China is a republic. England is not.

You Guys hide every Despot's money.

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Jealous? By the way, our banks have the money...

Yeah, but this isn't a Democracy, is it. We're a Republic. Back to the history books for you...

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

Yeah right...

"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Elections remind us not only of the rights but the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy."
Robert Kennedy

"The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy - the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities - which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means."
Ronald Reagan

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

... and I don't have to. The only thing I have know is, that Gerrymandering is a manipulation of destricts to get the majority of votes.... Is it legal? It seems so... Is it democratic? Not at all...

Sean Sauer's picture

BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You're obviously not paying attention to what the orange POS in the white house is doing. I mean POTUS. History won't judge his ignorant cult followers kindly.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

What is it with some of these dipshit photojournalists acting like 'lil 8 year olds. What part of "off the record" did that idiot not understand.

Exactly. Obama had a terrible record with the press and they where constantly fawning over him too. #POPCORN READY!!!!

Ignacio Balbuena's picture

Also is the picture of the kids in the "refugee camps" that he sent to build.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Oh, you poor little mindless parrot. You forgot to begin and end your sentences with "squawk".

Ignacio Balbuena's picture

Yeap the beautiful of life is that everyone can have a different opinion. If you dont like mine, swallow it. Squawk

Because the "letter" from Kim jong-Un was actually his to-do list.

Chris Collins's picture

We all heard of the idiots that ruin things for everyone? Think if that role was reversed and this was in North Korea. One less breathing body.

Reginald Walton's picture

Well this is NOT North Korea, that's why we have journalist, so they can report on crap like this. If he didn't want pics of it, don't show it in a room full of photographers.

Leon Kolenda's picture

WRONG! Just because they are Photographers, doesn't give them the right to photograph some thing that they have been instructed Not to do, plus President Trump was gracious in giving them a look at the letter. Considering the treatment of the Press and most Photojournalists of this POTUS, I can approve of President Trump's statement! Sounds like this Photojournalist was at a training class of Jim Acosta's!

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