Kristi Noem Refuses To Deny Dubious Kim Jong Un Anecdote From Her Book

Kristie Noem dodged questions about whether she ever met Kim Jong Un during a weekend appearance on “Face the Nation.”

The Republican South Dakota governor seemed unwilling to admit her error when CBS’ Margaret Brennan asked Noem about a dubious anecdote in her forthcoming book, “No Going Back,” on Sunday.

The book has been under heavy scrutiny since a report from The Dakota Scout cast doubt on a passage where Noem reflects on when she was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, writing in “No Going Back”:

Through my tenure on the House Armed Services Committee, I had the chance to travel to many countries to meet with world leaders. I remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. I’m sure he underestimated me, having no clue about my experience staring down little tyrants (I’d been a children’s pastor, after all).

A high-level Capitol Hill staffer who used to work with Noem when she was a congresswoman told the Scout that the story was “bullshit,” and experts on North Korea said there wasn’t “any conceivable way” a single junior member of Congress would ever meet solo with Kim.

When Brennan asked Noem, point blank, if she’d met the North Korean leader, she refused to fess up.

“As soon as this was brought to my attention, I certainly made some changes and looked at this passage,” the governor said, adding, “I’ve met with many, many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world.”

“So you did not meet with Kim Jong Un? That’s what you’re saying,” Brennan pressed.

“I’ve met with many, many world leaders. Many world leaders. I’ve traveled around the world,” Noem said.

Trying to give her comments the air of plausibility, the politician went on to say, “I’m not going to talk about my specific meetings with world leaders. I’m just not going to do that.”

Brennan wondered who Noem had confused for Un, noting how she’d never been to North Korea, and how South Korea’s leader was a woman during Noem’s tenure on the House Armed Services Committee.

Noem countered, saying she had visited the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea but that there were “some specifics” she was “not willing to share with you.”

Unrelenting, Brennan asked how such specific references to “little tyrant” Un made it into the book, even after Noem clearly read the manuscript.

“Do you have a question for me, Margaret?” Noem snapped, later calling Brennan’s line of questions what’s “so discouraging about politics in the media today.”

“I’m just asking for why ― why am I being treated differently than every other person that you’ve interviewed?” she asked.

“I’m quoting you,” the reporter replied.

On Friday, Noem’s camp addressed “small errors” in the book in a statement to HuffPost.

“It was brought to our attention that the upcoming book ‘No Going Back’ has two small errors,” spokesperson Ian Fury said. “This has been communicated to the ghostwriter and editor.”

“Kim Jong Un was included in a list of world leaders and shouldn’t have been. ... The book has not been released yet, and all future editions will be corrected.”

Noem has already been under fire for writing about how she killed her young dog, Cricket, due to his bad hunting behavior.

“No Going Back” is due out May 7.

Watch the full interview here: