Trump returns home from Asia with few clear wins

MANILA, Philippines – In Trumpian terms, President Donald Trump’s Asia tour was a rousing success.

He was warmly welcomed by his closest friend in the region, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a round of celebrity golf and he got to give a prime-time address to the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea. He was welcomed to Beijing by Chinese President Xi Jinping with a “state visit plus" that featured an opera performance inside the Forbidden City followed by a lavish state dinner complete with a video featuring Trump’s granddaughter singing in Mandarin. And to cap it off, Trump was serenaded by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It was a red carpet like nobody, probably has ever received,” Trump bragged in Manila. “And that really is a sign of respect, perhaps for me a little bit, but really for our country.”

And yet, as he flies home to Washington, former Continue reading “Trump returns home from Asia with few clear wins”

Trump skirts human rights questions in Duterte meeting

Trump teases Wednesday trade announcement at the White House

MANILA, Philippines — President Donald Trump said Sunday he’ll make a “major” announcement on trade next week at the White House upon returning from his Asia trip.

The statement, planned for Wednesday, will detail Trump’s discussions with world leaders during his 12-day, five-country tour of Asia.

“A lot of things are happening on trade and I’ll be announcing pretty much what happened here and also with other meetings, including with China, South Korea and lots of other places,” Trump said during a trilateral meeting here with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added later, “We’ve made some very big steps with respect to trade, far bigger than anything you know.”

Trump did not offer any specifics about the pending announcement, but he complained about the large trade deficits with other nations.

“We have deficits with almost everybody,” he said. “Those deficits are going Continue reading “Trump teases Wednesday trade announcement at the White House”

Trump backs U.S. intel agencies ‘as currently constituted’ on Russia

HANOI, Vietnam — After coming under fire for seemingly questioning the assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump on Sunday said he trusts the current leadership of the United States’ intelligence agencies.

During a press conference here, Trump sought to clarify comments he made aboard Air Force One on Saturday, in which he said of Putin denying influencing the election, "Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”

On Sunday, Trump said those comments were not meant to imply he personally believes that Russia didn’t seek to manipulate the election. Instead, Trump said he was simply stating that he believes Putin is being sincere when he says he wasn’t involved.

“What I said there is that I believe [Putin] believes that and that’s very important for somebody to believe. Continue reading “Trump backs U.S. intel agencies ‘as currently constituted’ on Russia”

Trump backs U.S. intel agencies ‘as currently constituted’ on Russia

HANOI, Vietnam — After coming under fire for seemingly questioning the assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump on Sunday said he trusts the current leadership of the United States’ intelligence agencies.

During a press conference here, Trump sought to clarify comments he made aboard Air Force One on Saturday, in which he said of Putin denying influencing the election, "Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”

On Sunday, Trump said those comments were not meant to imply he personally believes that Russia didn’t seek to manipulate the election. Instead, Trump said he was simply stating that he believes Putin is being sincere when he says he wasn’t involved.

“What I said there is that I believe [Putin] believes that and that’s very important for somebody to believe. Continue reading “Trump backs U.S. intel agencies ‘as currently constituted’ on Russia”

White House pledges to push for more media access after APEC summit lock-out

DANANG, Vietnam — Nearly all U.S. journalists covering President Donald Trump’s appearance at a major economic summit in Vietnam were barred from attending key events Friday and Saturday, including photo-ops featuring interactions between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a situation the White House later pledged to take action to avoid happening again.

The small group of reporters who track Trump’s movements abroad, known as the travel pool, was largely relegated to a holding room on Saturday while nearly two dozen world leaders posed for photographs and mingled at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Danang.

A Fox News video crew and an official White House photographer were granted access to the meetings. Fox was the news organization that was tasked with providing pool video to other news outlets. But the rest of the pool reporters, including independent photographers from U.S. news organizations, were blocked from covering the Continue reading “White House pledges to push for more media access after APEC summit lock-out”

Trump: ‘People will die’ as a result of focus on Russia allegations

DANANG, Vietnam — President Donald Trump on Saturday called into question the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia sought to influence last year’s presidential election, while raising concerns that the intense focus on the issue could sour U.S. relations with Vladimir Putin.

Pressed by reporters, Trump didn’t directly say whether he personally believed Putin was involved in the alleged election meddling. But he suggested he takes the Russian president at his word when he denies directing the influence campaign.

"Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Hanoi, Vietnam. ”But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Trump dismissed the meddling allegations as Continue reading “Trump: ‘People will die’ as a result of focus on Russia allegations”