You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 16, 2017.
Over the past week, President Donald Trump welcomed Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan, Justin Trudeau of Canada and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to the White House.
Before Trump welcomed Shinzo Abe and his wife to the United States last weekend, he already had a big fan club in Japan. This video was filmed on Inauguration Day:
The Abes were in Washington DC on Friday, February 10. Trump and Abe held a joint press conference, wherein Trump pledged ‘even closer’ relations with Japan, including reaffirming America’s security guarantee:
The two leaders met privately before posing for a photo op:
The Daily Mail reported that Mrs Trump did not guide Mrs Abe around Washington, because the latter already had plans for the day: a visit to Gallaudet University for the deaf and hard of hearing followed by a National Cherry Blossom Festival committee meeting at the Japanese Embassy. There is also a language barrier. Mrs Trump does not speak Japanese, and Mrs Abe does not speak English.
However, they rode together that afternoon to meet their husbands for a weekend at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach:
This video shows their arrival in Florida. Each leader had his own entourage. This was the roadside reception for Trump. Abe must have been impressed:
That evening, they had dinner with Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, Superbowl LI champions:
On Saturday, Trump and Abe discussed issues of the day over a round of golf:
Meanwhile, Melania Trump took Akie Abe for a tour of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, not far from Palm Beach, where the two couples spent the weekend.
Afterwards, the first lady took Mrs Abe to the Episcopal church where she and Trump got married, Bethesda-by-the-Sea:
A working dinner followed:
That evening, while the couples were having dinner, North Korea launched a missile into the Sea of Japan. The two leaders made an impromptu joint statement:
Trump met with Justin Trudeau on Monday, February 13. This was a day trip.
The neighboring leaders, polar opposites in nearly every way, took up the thorny subjects of trade and immigration, with Trudeau eager to build a relationship with the new U.S. president.
At a joint press conference after a series of meetings, the two emphasized their shared goals. Trump pledged to work with Canada “in pursuit of our many shared interests.” Trudeau spoke of a special bond and the “deep abiding respect” between the two countries, though he also said that “relationships between neighbors are pretty complex.”
While the two leaders stressed shared interests, their contrasting views were also on display. Responding to questions from reporters, Trump defended his refugee and immigration orders, saying that “we cannot let the wrong people in.” Trudeau, on the other hand, said Canada continues to “pursue our policies of openness.”
Trudeau later noted that there have been times when the two countries “have differed in our approaches.” But he said “the last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they chose to govern themselves.”
Trudeau gave the president a photo. It was of Trump and Justin’s father, the late Pierre Trudeau, also a prime minister of Canada.
Trudeau also met legislators at Capitol Hill.
Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrived at the White House on Thursday, February 16.
This is their formal welcome to the White House, followed by friendly conversation — they met at Trump’s residence in Trump Tower after the election — and the official photo op:
This short video from Netanyahu’s Twitter encapsulates the highlights of the day:
Trump and Netanyahu held a joint press conference before their private meeting:
NPR has a transcript of the press conference. Topics included the usual concerns, primarily peace in Israel and in the Middle East:
While the two leaders met, their wives went to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. This was apposite as February is Black History Month in the United States. Museum guides provided the two ladies with assistance in viewing important exhibits and interactive displays:
Trump’s meeting with Netanyahu was a sharp and welcome departure from the Israeli’s meeting with Obama in 2014. The Atlantic detailed the breakdown in the relationship, with one White House staffer calling Netanyahu a particularly vulgar word denoting a coward.
For that Obama staffer, if this is what a coward looks like, then I’m the pope. This is Bibi as a young man (courtesy of The_Donald):
As you can see below, Trump picked up on that at the time. Here’s a comparison between Obama and Netanyahu:
Now back to the 2017 visit. The Daily Mail has a complete rundown, including photos, of the Netanyahu visit to Washington.
Melania Trump’s white suit is a Karl Lagerfeld creation.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, thought to be a prime mover in strengthening US-Israeli relations, attended the press conference. The Kushners also know the Netanyahus well.
That evening, the Trumps co-hosted a dinner for the Netanyahus. Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) and his wife Jeanette were the other co-hosts.
Joel Pollak wrote a good article on Breitbart, detailing five ways in which this visit will improve relations between the US and Israel, not to mention the Middle East with regard to terror.
In closing, this was the fourth state visit Trump has hosted within the past three weeks.
I am not sure when we had such great presidential optics online. Despite all the slings and arrows the new president continues to take, this one best sums up his inner serenity. From the Abe visit to Mar-A-Lago (note Mike Flynn standing in front of the statue):
The Trump meetings have terrific photos and videos. Long may they continue.