Donald Trump Has 'Fixation' on Kim Jong Un: Author on Flushed Papers Claims

Donald Trump has a "fixation" on Kim Jong Un and has said he keeps in touch with the North Korean leader, journalist Maggie Haberman, author of a new book about the ex-president, said.

Haberman, who is White House correspondent with The New York Times, spoke to CNN's New Day on Thursday about her upcoming book Confidence Man and a claim in that book about staff finding papers clogging a White House toilet during Trump's time in office.

Her comments about Trump's apparent interest in Kim come after reports that so-called "love letters" from the dictator were retrieved from the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence by the National Archives.

In her new book, Haberman reports that Trump has told people he has remained in contact with Kim since he left office in January, 2021.

Haberman told CNN that Trump was telling people he had maintained "some kind of correspondence or discussion" with Kim.

"I think it's not necessarily unusual for a former president to maintain some kind of contact with other foreign leaders, former foreign leaders," she said.

"This would obviously be unusual because this is the only one, to my knowledge, that he is saying he is still in touch with. As we know, he had a fixation on this relationship," Haberman added.

Haberman said that she had been told Trump would "wave" around the letters he received from Kim at the White House and Mar-a-Lago and had photos of Kim on the wall of his office.

"This was a relationship that was important to him and it's pretty striking given who Kim Jong Un is," Haberman said.

Trump and Kim had an unusual relationship, with the former president initially attacking Kim publicly and giving him the unflattering nickname "little rocket man."

However, the relationship between the two appeared to improve significantly over the course of Trump's presidency as he became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea in 2019.

He met with Kim in 2018 and 2019 and later said "we fell in love" and claimed the dictator had written him "beautiful" letters.

The Washington Post reported this week that some of those "love letters" were retrieved from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, though the National Archives denied that it had raided Mar-a-Lago.

In a statement, the National Archives said they had "obtained the cooperation of Trump representatives to locate Presidential records that had not been transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration."

During her appearance on CNN on Thursday, Haberman addressed another claim in her book that has received media attention—that White House staff had sometimes found a toilet clogged with papers during the Trump administration and believed the then-president was responsible.

"I learned that staff in the White House residence would periodically find the toilet clogged," Haberman said. "The engineer would have to come and fix it and what the engineer would find would be wads of clumped up wet, printed paper - meaning it was not toilet paper."

"This was either notes or some other piece of paper that, you know, they believe that [Trump] had thrown down the toilet," she said.

Haberman said that what those papers were "could be anybody's guess."

Newsweek has asked former President Trump's office for comment.

Trump Meets Kim in 2019
A handout photo provided by Dong-A Ilbo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Journalist Maggie Haberman has said Trump had a "fixation" on his relationship with Kim. Handout photo by Dong-A Ilbo/Getty Images