The exchange occurred in the Oval Office last fall when a career intelligence analyst specializing in hostage policy explained to Trump the impending release of a family that had been held in Pakistan.
It was her first time meeting the president, and when she was done briefing, he had a question for her.
According to NBC, the officials who discussed the "pretty Korean lady" remark "said the president likely meant no harm with his inquiry, but it raised concern of a lack of cultural sensitivity and decorum".More news: Civil Rights icon: Trump's profane comments about immigrants were 'despicable'
He wanted to know where "your people" are from, according to the officials.
Amid ongoing national and worldwide condemnation for his remarks about "shithole" African nations, Donald Trump has come under fire yet again after details emerged about an intelligence briefing in which he asked why a "pretty Korean lady" wasn't working on negotiations with North Korea.
As President Trump wades through the fallout from his reported comments that Haiti and several African states are "shithole countries", a story published Friday by NBC News claims that on two separate instances, Trump made prejudiced assumptions about White House visitors due to their ethnicity.More news: East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds becomes Education Secretary
Trump on Friday tweeted, "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country". NBC News also cited a source saying Trump "frequently uses that kind of language", despite those around him telling him not to.
The career intelligence analyst ultimately told the president her parents were from Korea. The network did not receive comments from the briefer or the White House.
President Donald Trump has reportedly made comments about race and ethnicity on several occasions. During the campaign, he suggested that some Mexican immigrants are "rapists" and "bringing crime" across the border and vowed to deport "bad hombres" from the U.S. "Never said 'take them out'".More news: UFC 221: Robert Whittaker issues statement on withdrawal from Luke Rockhold bout
But the worldwide community condemned the comments, which were corroborated by congressmen who had been in the room when Trump made the controversial remarks.