President Trump kicked off his first visit from a foreign leader by welcoming British Prime Minister Teresa May to the White House on Friday. Trump reaffirmed the United States commitment to "this most special relationship."
“Today, the United States renews our deep bonds,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the the two nations’ “military, financial, cultural, and political” relationship.
When it came to the use of torture, Trump has said he wouldn't be opposed to reinstating waterboarding. However, in Friday's press conference, Trump said he would defer to Defense Secretary James Mattis when it came to interrogation policies.
“We have a great general,” Mr. Trump said. “He has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding or however you want to define it.”
About that whole Mexico thing...
Mr. Trump spoke of his earlier conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who, on Thursday, announced that he would no longer be attending a meeting with the commander-in-chief scheduled next week.
“I have been very strong on Mexico,” Trump admitted. During the hour-long talk, Trump said they discussed "working on a fair relationship and a new relationship."
Queen invites Trump for tea
Prime Minister May said that Trump has accepted an invitation from the longest living monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The state visit is expected to occur later this year.
Trump views on NATO
In her remarks, May confirmed that Trump is "100 percent in favor of NATO" despite his past rhetoric condemning the trade alliance, describing it as "obsolete."
So Trump after his first meeting with Teresa May, NATO is no longer "obsolete" ; he's now apparently "100% behind NATO"— the uncapturable one (@_Paledi) January 27, 2017
Trump talks Russia
The conversation then moved towards what has become a contentious topic for the Trump administration: Russia.
When asked about his upcoming phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin he said, "we'll see what happens." May's rhetoric came off stronger than Trump's when it came to Russian sanctions. May said the U.K. would "double down" on continuing the sanctions until Russia follows through on the Minsk agreement--a protocol put in place to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
UPDATE 12:30 PM | PM May arrives at the White House to meet President Trump.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday.
It’s time to make a deal. But hours before President Donald Trump welcomes U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May for a White House visit to talk trade, there are rising tensions between the U.S. and another partner--Mexico.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced on Twitter around midday on Thursday that he was scrapping a planned trip to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly demanded that Mexico pay for a wall on the U.S. border.
Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. for long enough. Massive trade deficits & little help on the very weak border must change, NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
Trump explains stance on relations with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Meeting between Trump and May
May said in Parliament on Wednesday that she is “not afraid to speak frankly to a president of the United States.”
May reportedly worked hard to get the meeting with Trump, but her visit has been criticized by her political opponents, and risks being overshadowed by the flood of announcements coming out of the White House.
What they're going to talk about
May and Trump will spend about an hour together and plan to discuss several issues, such at NATO and ISIS . The White House said late Thursday that May and Trump would hold talks, followed by a press conference and a working lunch. In a diplomacy oops, the White House statement misspelled the prime minister's first name as Teresa. It was later corrected.
Trade is key
May is looking for trade deal commitments as she seeks to show U.K. leaders her plan to leave the EU’s single market and has promoted her vision of Britain as the biggest proponent of free trade.
This may conflict with Trump's “America First” policy of protectionism and decried multilateral trade deals.
Analysts say that the meeting has to go smoothly to show the global stage and market leaders a deal can be done.
Where they disagree: NATO
Trump has declared NATO obsolete and expressed a desire for warmer ties with Russia.
May considers the trans-Atlantic alliance crucial and is skeptical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Where they disagree: Waterboarding
Trump said that he was open to using the controversial interrogation technique waterboarding and said he had spoken with senior intelligence officials this week who had told him that it works.
May, like many in the international community, sees the technique as torture and on Thursday was repeatedly asked by the media about Britain's stance on torture.
Where they disagree: Russia
In her speech, May said Western leaders should "engage but beware" of Putin and should not accept Putin's claim that Eastern Europe is now in his sphere of influence. Trump, on the other hand, wants a strong U.S. relationship with Russia to fight Islamic State militants.
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