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Last week, Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general.

He left the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Asking Sessions to resign was President Trump’s first action after the mid-terms on November 6.

Finally!

Now, maybe, justice can be done!

The acting attorney general (AG) was formerly Sessions’s chief of staff. His name is Matt Whitaker.

Trump was clever and did not promote Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, to the post. Because Sessions had recused himself, Rosey had been overseeing the Mueller probe. Now that Whitaker has been given the responsibility of overseeing Mueller, the Left — Democrats and the media — have said that the United States is experiencing a ‘constitutional crisis’.

Fox News’s Howard Kurtz explains why (emphases mine):

Whitaker is a former prosecutor, as well as a conservative activist, but he is obscure. He is a Trump loyalist, once described as the president’s “eyes and ears” at DOJ.

What’s more, as a CNN contributor and at other times, he has trashed the Mueller investigation that he will now be overseeing. He’s suggesting that Justice could curtail the special counsel’s probe by cutting his funding.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” Whitaker once said. As for the left, “the last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians. It’s that simple.”

So Whitaker has, to put it mildly, a rather dim view of the investigation. And his associates are telling reporters he has no intention of recusing himself. Of course not — that’s why Trump wants him.

So it’s a big deal that oversight of the Russia probe is moving from Rosenstein, who likes the job Mueller is doing, to a man who’s been so critical of the investigation. And criticism from House Democrats who’ll soon be in a position to scrutinize these matters is fueling the story.

Rumour has it that Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation soon, possibly next week. If true, whether that is related to Sessions’s resignation is unclear.

As acting AG, Whitaker can stay in that position for up to 210 days. Whitaker was appointed to his former chief of staff role in 2017, therefore, he requires no Senate confirmation.

Whitaker quickly protected his Twitter account, which was all about sports, although you can see a photo of him lifting weights. He’s no pencil-necked geek. He’s a big man with a shaved head (similar to Mr Clean). One of Whitaker’s tweets featured a similar photo with the caption:

What I do in my free time. #powerclean #CrossFit…

VA Online News has an interesting article about Whitaker and how he got the AAG job. The article purports that White House aides thought Rod Rosenstein’s resignation was imminent, so they went about finding a replacement:

Convinced that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, was ready to resign after the revelation that he suggested President Trump was unfit for the job, senior White House aides got to work last weekend installing a replacement.

Whitaker received a phone call on Saturday, November 3:

Matthew G. Whitaker, the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would become the acting No. 2 official at the Justice Department, his White House counterpart, John F. Kelly, told him over the phone on Saturday morning, according to two people briefed on the call. To the White House, he was an obvious choice: a confident former college football player and United States attorney whom Mr. Kelly has privately described as the West Wing’s “eyes and ears” in a department the president has long considered at war with him.

By Monday, Rosenstein had decided to stay at the DoJ for the time being, therefore, Whitaker could not be moved into his slot.

Interestingly, had Whitaker become DAG, replacing Rosenstein, he would not have been able to supervise the Mueller probe:

thanks to complex department rules, Mr. Whitaker would not assume control of the inquiry if he ever replaces Mr. Rosenstein.

Some think that Whitaker could become the permanent AG if he performs well as AAG. Even if he doesn’t, there are other roles open to him:

Administration officials have also mentioned Mr. Whitaker as a possible successor to Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel who plans to leave in the fall.

Justice Department and White House spokespeople declined to comment. The back-and-forth between the White House and Justice Department were described by more than a half-dozen administration officials and others briefed on the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.

President Trump is said to have an easy rapport with Whitaker, who disapproves of Mueller potentially probing the Trump family finances.

In 2016, he was critical of Hillary Clinton’s server situation:

A reasonable prosecutor may ask, if on numerous occasions, an unknown State Department employee had taken top secret information from a secured system, emailed that information on a Gmail account, and stored the information on a personal server for years, would that individual be prosecuted? I believe they would.

Eighteen US AGs have demanded that Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe. On Friday, November 9, Fox News reported:

More than a dozen U.S. state attorneys general signed a document Thursday calling for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, a role he assumed following his temporary appointment following the resignation of Jeff Sessions …

As part of Whitaker’s new role as the head official at the Justice Department, he will oversee the Russia probe and the agency’s other federal investigations, including the New York prosecutors’ look into the finances of Trump and his former aides.

In an op-ed Whitaker wrote last year, he argued that “any investigation into President Trump’s finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.”

“It is time for Rosenstein … to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel,” Whitaker wrote. “If he doesn’t, then Mueller’s investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller, but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family — and by extension, to the country.”

And separately, in July 2017, Whitaker told CNN, “I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

Whitaker is adamant about refusing to recuse.

The Left — Democrats and the media — are in a right tizz at the moment.

Whitaker’s DoJ could look at all types of left-wing scandals from the past several years.

He could get a lot done in 210 days, especially as he has the little-known but brilliant Ezra Cohen-Watnick, 32, working at the DoJ. Cohen-Watnick formerly worked for HR McMaster, who fired him from the National Security Council. Trump fired McMaster earlier this year.

Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner think highly of Cohen-Watnick, who has an intelligence background. In April 2018, Trump personally told the DoJ he wanted Cohen-Watnick to work with Jeff Sessions. That did not sit well with the Left, either, because it was rumoured he had shown Rep. Devin Nunes classified documents relating to Nunes’s FISA investigation of the 2016 election.

With Whitaker and Cohen-Watnick working together, who knows what the near future might hold? We could well see some sunlight disinfecting the Swamp. 

The American public’s patience with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is wearing thin.

Unlike some Trump supporters, I and many others see no sunny side to his being attorney general (AG) any longer.

For background material see my tag Jeff Sessions, including George True’s guest posts:

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Deep State and Mueller investigation (April 15, George True)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on Jeff Sessions’s priorities (George True, April 20 and Rosenstein’s presidential cufflinks)

Guest post: what to make of Jeff Sessions, the DOJ and upcoming IG report? (May 17)

Politically blind Sessions supporters say that he would not be there if President Trump did not want him to be.

WRONG!

The Senate told Trump last year that a) they would not appoint another AG and b) they would not go into recess for the specific purpose of preventing Trump from appointing a replacement.

A lot of these same people said that HR McMaster was doing a wonderful job, too. For months on end, I read — paraphrased — ‘HR McMaster wouldn’t be there if the President didn’t want him to be’.

FALSE!

It took a while for Trump to sack McMaster, but once Trump built up a head of steam about the three-star general, that was it.

I have just completed a five-part series for Orphans of Liberty called the McMaster Chronicles. I would strongly suggest that Sessions fans read the series, which will take a while:

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 1

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 2

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 3

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 4

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 5 (the end)

HR McMaster was a globalist from the start. He refused to call out Islamicist terrorism because, to him, religious people do not commit it. He tried to get President Trump not to use the term but failed. He renewed chief unmasker Susan Rice’s security clearance. He sacked Trump loyalists. He told a security conference in Berlin that there was Russian collusion.

That last point was the straw that broke the camel’s back. For months, I had been hoping McMaster would go, and, suddenly, all because of the brief mention of Russian interference in Berlin, that was it. Trump was furious.

And, no, McMaster did not resign. Trump arranged for John Bolton to replace him and then gave McMaster the news.

Trump also purposely used mainstream media reports as a rationale to replace McMaster. Those reports included the same ‘anonymous sources’ that McMaster and Sessions supporters so loathe.

I’m very sorry about McMaster’s father’s recent death (covered in Part 5), but the general was not the right person for the job.

The McMaster Chronicles illustrate what is highly likely to happen to Jeff Sessions.

And now, Joe diGenova, an attorney close to President Trump, says that Sessions’s days are numbered.

PJ Media has the May 16 story, excerpted below (emphases mine):

Attorney Joe diGenova predicted that both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ days are numbered at the Department of Justice during a telephone interview with Newsmax’s Howie Carr Wednesday. DiGenova’s claim came after the New York Times published a report titled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation”. The report has been interpreted by many as an attempt by sources within the “Deep State” to cushion the blow of the imminent DOJ inspector general report, which is expected to be explosive.

In March, President Trump considered adding diGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing to his legal team, but conflicts of interest reportedly prevented him from hiring them. The attorney is still in contact with Trump, and told Carr that “the president has had it up to his scuppers with these clowns.”

Like a number of other concerned Trump supporters, diGenova is certain that a coup d’état has been underway for some time:

DiGenova explained that the whole point of the Comey/Clapper/Brennan operation was to ruin Trump’s presidential bid and if that failed, to ruin his presidency. He expressed frustration that Sessions has been unable to see through what he called “a coup d’etat.”

“If he can’t see that, he’s not competent to be attorney general!” he exclaimed. He hasn’t recused himself from understanding that a presidency is being assaulted illegitimately by Mueller and by current and former people in the FBI and the intelligence community.”

DiGenova warned that Sessions is on thin ice with the president and his days may be numbered. “If it comes out that Jeff Sessions has not authorized a grand jury into all those unmaskings, all those leaks, … and Ben Rhodes and John Brennan and James Clapper have not been authorized for subpoenas, … if he has not authorized that, he’s going to be fired,” he predicted.

The reason he knew that, DiGenova said, was that both Rosenstein and Sessions had been to the White House twice in the past two weeks to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and they were told their jobs were “not secure.”

The president has had it up to his scuppers with these clowns and he has every right in the world to be furious with the incompetence of the Department of Justice under Rosenstein and Sessions,” diGenova explained, adding, “I have been told that by people who know.”

Under the current circumstances, Sessions could be replaced in one of two ways. Trump could make it so uncomfortable for him to remain as AG that he resigns. Alternatively, Trump could make a lateral move by sacking Sessions and putting the current EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) head Scott Pruitt into that position.

Vox, not a pro-Trump site by any means, had an article about the latter possibility on April 6. Excerpts follow:

The background is that Trump has been positively furious with Sessions since he recused himself from handling the Russia investigation in March 2017. The probe has since been overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to take charge of it in May …

But Sessions hasn’t taken the bait and has defiantly refused to quit …

Yet there is one alternative here — albeit a legally dubious and sure-to-be-controversial one. In his administration, Trump has frequently used a law called the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to circumvent the usual line of succession in agencies. The law allows the president to temporarily fill an agency vacancy so long as the new appointee was already confirmed by the Senate for a different position.

This is how Trump put Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and put a Defense Department official in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs. (There is some legal ambiguity about whether Trump even can use the Vacancies Act to replace someone he fired rather than someone who resigned, but Trump decided to try to use it to replace fired VA Secretary David Shulkin anyway.)

Now, an appointment under the Vacancies Reform Act would be temporary — the appointee can only serve for 210 days. But a whole lot can happen in 210 days, at what seems to be a crucial period for Mueller’s investigation.

Even better news is that Scott Pruitt might well be interested in the AG job:

Politico’s Andrew Restuccia reported that Pruitt “has told friends and associates that he’s interested in becoming attorney general, according to three people familiar with the internal discussions.” (He added, “It’s unclear whether Pruitt would be on the shortlist for the position.”) Then, hours later, both Reuters and Bloomberg independently confirmed the report that Pruitt has been telling others he was interested in the attorney general job.

The sourcing and speedy corroborations from other outlets here suggest that Pruitt’s allies were deliberately putting out a message — to Trump. The message was that if Trump wanted to finally rid himself of Sessions, Pruitt would be positively eager to step in and replace him.

What Pruitt would do about the Mueller investigation is, of course, not explicitly stated in these reports, though the wink-wink implication seems to be that he’d handle it in a way Trump would prefer.

Vox also stated that moving Pruitt into the AG slot would also allay the concerns of conservatives wary of moving Sessions out.

To be fair, Vox did include the Trump tweets against ‘fake news’, but the article says this has happened before. It didn’t mention McMaster — Sarah Sanders came to his defence — but the same principle is in play.

Joe diGenova was nearly hired using this same Trump technique:

On March 11, he tweeted that he was “VERY happy” with his legal team and that a New York Times report that he’d add another lawyer was “false.” However, just eight days later, he announced he did in fact plan to hire another lawyer, Joseph diGenova, and a few days after that, his lead personal lawyer, John Dowd, exited the team. (DiGenova’s hiring fell through in the end.)

Furthermore, Trump has been known to float a great many possible personnel changes in conversations with friends and allies — a few of which end up happening, most of which don’t.

Scott Pruitt has not had an easy time at the EPA, which is filled with holdovers who are trying to make his life a misery whilst he is trying to reform the agency. That could work either for or against him in a lateral move.

Regardless …

Sessions is going to be out one way or another as soon as Trump can arrange it.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, President Donald Trump left Vietnam for the Philippines.

The ASEAN summit in Manila, including a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, was Trump’s final event prior to his return to Washington DC.

Mrs Duterte gave President Trump a warm welcome. Duterte is characteristically less expressive:

This video shows the reception going on while every attendee was personally welcomed and had a photo op with the Dutertes.

Later, a group photo was taken:

The men are wearing barongs, the traditional Philippine shirts for men. Many of the women — see the lady on the right — are wearing a terno dress or jacket. The pointy shoulders are traditional for Philippine women.

Toasts were made. Trump was seated next to Duterte:

A lavish dinner followed. Trump, apparently, asked Duterte to sing:

The Conservative Treehouse has a good post on the importance of ASEAN and Trump’s objectives:

Those who have walked in the deep weeds of geopolitical strategy know the emphasis the Trump administration has placed on ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) as a counter-balance (control leverage) to the Chinese trade and military expansion.

The ongoing trade and security relationship between the U.S. and India, as well as other regional partners, is a large part of the overarching dynamic. The ASEAN Summit in Manila[,] Philippines is an opportunity for President Trump to expand the conversations; enter into deeper discussions surrounding the terms of partnership; and deepen commitments toward larger U.S. international objectives.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region including India, comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, one-fourth of the global population.

Here is a graphic of all the attendees:

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delighted to renew his friendship with President Trump:

NDTV reported:

Prime Minister Modi is likely to reassert India’s push to create a global approach to deal with terrorism. He will also pitch steps to boost regional trade. One of the more significant meetings will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump.

India Today has more on the geopolitical situation in Asia and with the Trump administration.

Here is a photo from the gala dinner that night. Stephen Miller, adviser and speechwriter, is on the left (Trump’s personal assistant John McEntee is next to him, followed by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders). On the right are General HR McMaster and Communications Director Hope Hicks:

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Manila, violent anti-Trump protests broke out. Sky News Australia reported:

Hundreds of leftist activists, farmers and students have burned an effigy of US President Donald Trump in the shape of a swastika after clashes with anti-riot police in Manila left at least 16 people injured.

Police used water cannons on the demonstrators as they marched along Taft Avenue, about 6 kilometres away from the venue of the leaders summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Six of the 16 injured were police officers.

The ASEAN summit opened on Monday, November 13 with a welcome ceremony, group photo and customary group handshake:

Here is a video of the photo op:

Modi was delighted with the opening ceremony’s entertainment:

This was Trump’s schedule for the rest of the day (emphases in the original):

10:15am / 9:15pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia – Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila, Philippines. [Duration 1 hr]

11:50am / 10:50pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines – Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines (Host of ASEAN) [Duration 1 hr]

12:55pm / 11:55pm THE PRESIDENT attends the 5th U.S.-ASEAN Summit – Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, Philippines.

3:30pm / 2:30pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India – Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila, Philippines.

5:00pm / 4:00am THE PRESIDENT participates in an embassy meet and greet, Manila, Philippines.

In a historic move, representatives from the US State Department met with officials from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was the first time these countries had met since 2007. The time gap was because of objections from the Chinese and Obama.

Part of the State Department’s announcement reads as follows:

The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as: upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes; increasing connectivity consistent with international law and standards, based on prudent financing; coordinating on counterterrorism and maritime security efforts in the Indo-Pacific; and further cooperating to curtail the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and unlawful acts. The quadrilateral partners committed to deepening cooperation, which rests on a foundation of shared democratic values and principles, and to continue discussions to further strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.

Trump included Japan’s Shinzo Abe in his meeting with Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull:

The three leaders met with the press. An excerpt from the transcript follows (emphases mine):

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s great to be with Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Abe of Australia and of Japan. You know them well; I know them well.

We’ve had many meetings. We’re having another one right now, primarily focused on trade, North Korea, other subjects. But we’re very far along. The dialogue has been very good, I think, for all countries. And we look forward to the continuation of that dialogue.

Mr. Prime Minister, would you like to say something?

PRIME MINISTER TURNBULL: Thank you, Mr. President. It is great to be with you and Prime Minister Abe. We’re working very closely together. We’ve got the same values and the same focus on ensuring that the North Korean regime comes to its senses and stops its reckless provocation and threats of conflict in our region.

Peace and stability have underpinned the prosperity of billions of people over many decades, and we’re going to work together to ensure we maintain it.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) So for three of us, the immediate challenge is the issue of North Korea. And also, three very close partners with each other — Japan, the United States, and Australia — share fundamental values, as well as strategic interest.

So I do hope that we are going to have a meaningful discussion, particularly on the issue of North Korea so as to ensure regional peace and stability.

And also, I think the key for us is to ensure very close trilateral cooperation so as to bring peace and stability on the ground. So I do look forward to having a very productive discussion with the two leaders.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: In addition, a lot of things are happening on trade. And I’ll be announcing pretty much what happened here, and also with other meetings, including China and South Korea and lots of other places. We’ll be announcing that, for the most part, in a statement. I’ll make it from the White House, as opposed to from here. We’ll probably do that on Wednesday …

Sky News Australia reported that Turnbull is beset by domestic problems but is intent on working to resolve the dangerous situation with North Korea and also terrorism:

‘These are dangerous times that we live in our region,’ Mr Turnbull told reporters in Manila, adding it was his job to keep Australians safe.

‘The threats to our peace and stability are greater than they have been for many many years.’

Turnbull understands the strategy for North Korea:

Trump met with Duterte. Beforehand, Duterte made a brief announcement to the media, absent at that point:

Duterte: “We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and…with you around, guys, you are the spies.”
“Hah, hah, hah,” Trump said laughing.
“You are,” Duterte repeated.
[Duterte’s reference was to “spies” (i.e. the media), not “spice.”]

Once the media showed up, Duterte wanted them gone:

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: (In progress.) But on the whole, I think I have so many things to say about (inaudible). I will just summarize (inaudible).

We are your ally. We are an important ally. (Inaudible.)

And I will request everybody to — after you’ve taken the shots, with the best angles that you would like — kindly go out.

I cannot discuss the things that they want to say. You may want to make an — just a statement so that the media is going to have something to go back home.

Trump picked up on the ‘spies’ joke:

I will say this: The media was a little bit late, and you actually missed the best part of the President’s statement. (Laughter.) I think he should make it again, but it was good.

But we’ve had a great relationship. This has been very successful. We have many meetings today with many other leaders. And the ASEAN conference has been handled beautifully by the President in the Philippines and your representatives. And I’ve really enjoyed being here …

But we very much appreciate the great treatment you’ve given us

Then:

Later, Trump addressed ASEAN (General HR McMaster is on the left and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the right):

The full transcript is here. Excerpts follow. Notice how Trump refers to the region not as Asia-Pacific but as Indo-Pacific:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Duterte, distinguished leaders, friends and partners: I’m honored to represent the United States of America at this U.S.-ASEAN Commemorative Summit. We gather today at a time of great promise and great challenge.

I speak to you on behalf of 350 million Americans with a message of friendship and partnership. I’m here to advance peace, to promote security, and to work with you to achieve a truly free and open Indo-Pacific, where we are proud and we have sovereign nations, and we thrive, and everybody wants to prosper.

This year we mark 40 years of friendship and cooperation between the United States and this organization. It’s a long time. I also want to congratulate ASEAN on 50 years of promoting peace and prosperity and stability in Southeast Asia and in the broader Indo-Pacific region.

Rodrigo, I would like to commend you on your success as ASEAN chair at this very critical moment in time and in the association’s history — such an important event. And I want to thank you for your incredible hospitality …

I also want to thank Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia for the excellent job you’ve done as coordinator, and I appreciate it very much. I really appreciate it. You have coordinated so well with us …

The United States remains committed to ASEAN’s central role as a regional forum for total cooperation. This diplomatic partnership advances the security and prosperity of the American people and the people of all Indo-Pacific nations

So we want our partners in the region to be strong, independent, and prosperous, in control of their own destinies, and satellites to no one. These are the principles behind our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

So again, I wish you all the best of luck. It’s an honor to be here. And, Rodrigo, thank you very much for the way you treated all of us. Thank you. (Applause.)

Afterwards, Trump met with Narendra Modi:

Then it was time to visit the US Embassy:

That evening, Trump had dinner with Malcolm Turnbull.

Afterwards:

On Tuesday, Trump was scheduled to attend more ASEAN sessions, however, as they were running late, he asked Rex Tillerson to attend the plenary session in the afternoon on his behalf. During his brief conversation with the media on the way home, Trump told the press that he was able to make his closing remarks at lunch.

It was time to return to Washington. Air Force One made a refueling stop at Hickam in Hawaii:

Thanks to a favourable jet stream, he arrived at the White House two hours earlier than expected Tuesday night. The tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, oddly, was unlit.

A short time later:

Before leaving the Philippines, Trump expressed his delight with the hospitality he received:

Later on, social media director Dan Scavino received this anime of Ivanka:

Once back at the White House, Trump tweeted:

It is a pity that Western media did not cover those 12 days better. They are historic. Trump has built solid relationships among the principal players: Abe, Xi and Modi. He also emphasised national sovereignty, which one hopes will be a game-changer for the region.

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