Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Trump suggests he wouldn't use Kim Jong-un's family members as CIA assets

This image is a split screen of Kim Jong Nam and his brother, Kim Jong-un
Left: A 2001 photo of a man believed to be Kim Jong-nam. Right: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2016. Photos: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images, Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump responded Tuesday to a Wall Street Journal report that Kim Jong-un's late half brother was a CIA source who met with agency operatives, saying that such an arrangement wouldn't have occurred under his administration.

"I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half-brother, and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices. ... I would not let that happen under my auspices."

The big picture: Kim Jong-nam met a potential CIA contact in Malaysia in February 2017 — during Trump's presidency — according to the WSJ. On that trip, he was murdered by the North Korean government with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport, according to the U.S. and South Korea, though North Korea denies the allegations.

Special report: Global threats multiply

Illustration of multiple global threats including Vladimir Putin, missiles, cyber terrorism, gun violence, and polluting smoke stacks
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Officials who have held America’s top national security positions tell "Axios on HBO" that the nation has never before faced such a tangled web of threats.

The bottom line: They worry about the government's capacity to confront them.