Trump welcomes Macron to White House, holds joint news conference

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Trump and Macron hold joint news conference

President Donald Trump is thanking French President Emmanuel Macron for his partnership on the recent missile strikes against chemical weapons in Syria and the fight against terrorism.

Trump said at a joint White House news conference that he will soon be meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. He says the U.S. won’t “repeat the mistakes of past administrations” and will pressure the DPRK regime.

Macron is pointing to the need for the Iran nuclear deal. He says he wants to work on a new deal in the weeks and months ahead.

Macron said any new agreement would need to block any nuclear activity in Iran through 2025, cease any uranium activity and put an end to the country’s ballistic missiles program.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports on the meeting between the U.S. President and his French counterpart.

Bonding together, U.S. President Trump’s and French President Macron’s body language suggests closeness and friendship.

The U.S. President’s actual words said something different.

“It was a terrible deal. It should have never ever been made. We could have made a good deal or a reasonable deal. The Iran deal is a terrible deal. We paid $150 billion. We gave $1.8 billion in cash. That’s actual cash; barrels of cash. It’s insane, it’s ridiculous,” Trump said.

Macron came here to help convince Trump to stay in the Iran deal. This was Trump’s strongest rejection of the nuclear pact. He could pull the U.S. out of the agreement by May 12th.

Macron instead tried to get Washington to stay in the deal by suggesting a separate agreement that would address U.S. and French concerns about Iran’s behavior in the Middle East, and its ballistic missile testing

“What we have to work on, obviously, with Iran, and different parts of the region – the P5 – and our allies, is to find a fair deal where we can fix the overall situation. This is the only way to preserve sovereignty in the region,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

There were differences over trade, too. Macron defended the World Trade Organization, an organization the Trump White House has railed against.

On Syria, there were signs of common ground. U.S. troops won’t be leaving until a regional force is put in place to stop the reemergence of ISIL. Both men indicated agreement, at least, for now.

For Emmanuel Macron and France, the honor of the first state visit of the Trump presidency has been somewhat offset by Trump’s public repudiation of the French president’s priorities on Iran, and other issues. It’s difficult to see from these meetings how the Iran nuclear deal can survive.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press and CGTN.

Richard Watts explains the nature of Trump and Macron’s ‘bromance’

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Richard Watts about the sincerity of Trump and Macron’s friendly relationship. Watts is an associate professor of French at the University of Washington.