Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images
January 14, 2018 at 01:11 PM EST

The Wall Street Journal is standing by its assertion that Donald Trump boasted he “probably [has] a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” tweeting out an audio recording of the president’s comments to bolster its reporting.

The quote has been a source of debate since White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders tweeted out “official audio” of the Wall Street Journal “misquoting” the president Saturday night. The Journal had interviewed Trump in a lengthy sit-down Thursday, publishing what the paper said were his comments in full.

Huckabee-Sanders took issue with the transcript, indicating that what Trump actually said was “I’d probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” and not “probably.” She provided her own audio of the conversation which, given its lack of clarity, only increased the debate over what the president truly said.

From his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump attacked the newspaper directly the next morning, accusing it of deliberately misquoting him for the purposes of having a “story.” He added, “They knew exactly what I said and meant.”

The Wall Street Journal then provided its audio of the conversation with the president, via Twitter, believing it to assert the accuracy of the reporting. Yet while the paper’s clip was clearer than the one Huckabee-Sanders provided, ambiguity remained and the matter was hardly settled, with Twitter users quickly replying with their own interpretations.

The full quote, accounting for the discrepancy and taken from the audio provided by Huckabee-Sanders and the Journal, reads as follows:

President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot, I have a great relationship with him. As you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan, and I[‘d] probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea. I would — I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.

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