by Andrew BEATTY / Adam PLOWRIGHT / Agence France-Presse
President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his son Donald Jr, who’s beneath fireplace for accepting a assembly with a Moscow lawyer in the course of the US election marketing campaign final 12 months — talks which have reignited allegations about Russia’s position within the vote.
The scandal over the youthful Trump’s willingness to satisfy the lawyer has put his father’s high aides in authorized jeopardy, forged a pall over his efforts to remake the political agenda and should but imperil his presidency.
But the president stood by Donald Jr throughout a go to to Paris, in his first public remarks in regards to the scandal.
“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer. Not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer,” he stated.
“From a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting.”
Trump earlier prompt he might have identified in regards to the assembly, saying “maybe it was mentioned at some point,” however nonetheless insisted he didn’t know what it was about.
Despite the controversy and investigations in Washington over the Trump marketing campaign’s alleged ties to the Kremlin, Trump instructed reporters accompanying him on his flight to France that he could be prepared to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House.
Such a go to must come “at the right time. I don’t think this is the right time, but the answer is yes, I would.”
The US president was in Paris on the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, with each males speaking of a newfound friendship.
Macron rolled out the red carpet, hoping to enhance relations and persuade the US president to alter his thoughts about withdrawing from the worldwide Paris settlement on local weather change.
Macron stated earlier that he had a “strong disagreement” with Trump in regards to the settlement, which the US chief plans to renegotiate.
Trump stated cryptically: “Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We’ll see what happens.”
But the tone of their press convention and heat physique language was at odds with broader considerations in regards to the transatlantic relationship since Trump’s victory in November final 12 months.
Macron, solely 39 years previous and elected in May, stated he appeared ahead to a “dinner between friends” later Thursday when he and his spouse loved a Michelin-starred meal with the Trumps in a restaurant up the Eiffel Tower.
The US president praised Macron as a “great president”, saying “he is going to run this country right.”
“The friendship between our two nations and ourselves is unbreakable,” Trump stated after talks on the French presidential palace targeted on joint US-French efforts to battle terrorism within the Middle East and Africa.
Macron had warned on the eve of Trump’s arrival that “the Western world is fracturing since the American election” and that the world order established after World War II was beneath menace.
– Bridge-building –
As a part of Macron’s appeal offensive, Trump shall be visitor of honour throughout celebrations for France’s national day on Friday, which can even have fun the 100th anniversary of US involvement in World War I.
Earlier, Macron gave Trump a private tour of Napoleon’s tomb on the Invalides navy complicated in central Paris, earlier than the 2 males headed for talks.
Again the physique language was heat, with Trump complimenting Macron’s spouse and even giving the French chief a carry again to the presidency in his eight-tonne automobile, often called The Beast.
“You know, you’re in such great shape… beautiful,” Trump instructed 64-year-old Brigitte Macron, who was sporting a white Louis Vuitton gown and stiletto heels, throughout their go to to the tomb.
– ‘Strategy a mystery’ –
Trump and Macron will watch Friday’s Bastille Day navy parade collectively and marking the US entry to World War I in 1917.
More than 50,000 Americans died in what then-president Woodrow Wilson described because the “war to end all wars,” a battle that solid the transatlantic alliance in metal.
However, international affairs skilled Bertrand Badie of Sciences Po college in Paris instructed AFP he was very uncertain Macron would have the ability to affect Trump sooner or later.
“It’s very difficult to play chess with a man whose strategy is a complete mystery and whose only consistency is his pursuit of American national interest,” he stated.
Nearly 11,000 police officers shall be on responsibility, with France in its highest state of alert after a string of terror assaults since 2015 which have killed greater than 300 individuals.
And in early July, police charged a 23-year-old suspected far-right activist with plotting to assassinate Macron on the Bastille Day parade.(AFP)