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Yesterday’s post reviewed President Donald Trump’s first day in Vietnam.

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, he tweeted a message for Veterans Day:

I read an online comment saying that he should have been in the United States that day.

Yet, we will see that his lengthy tour of Asia did much more for the United States and the world.

At the APEC summit, he was able to meet world leaders face to face, e.g. Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull and his host for the last leg of his tour, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Turnbull is in this photo:

He shook hands with Putin again:

Trump attended this meeting in the morning:

A working lunch followed the APEC morning session, then it was back for a second economic leaders meeting in the afternoon.

Afterwards, Trump left for Hanoi:

He spoke with the press on the flight:

He had this to say about the constant accusations of Russian collusion. The second sentence is puzzling:

This artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way and that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it. And it’s a pure hit job.

Did he mean more mysterious murders (Dems on Dems)?

Here is the full transcript. Reporters persisted in asking Trump if Putin interfered in last year’s election. The US president said that he asked Putin, who said he did not. Trump gave the media the negative answer in several different ways, including this one (emphases mine):

And I think it’s a shame that something like that can destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are very important countries. Russia could really help us. And the Democrats wanted to have a good relationship with Russia, but they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have the talent to do it. They didn’t have the chemistry to do it. They didn’t have what it takes to do it. You know, there is a talent to that.

But I think Putin and I — President Putin and I would have a great relationship, and that would be great for both countries. And it would take a lot of the danger out because we’re really — you know, this is a dangerous time. This isn’t small stuff. This is a very dangerous time. And having a great relationship, or even a good relationship, with the President of Russia — Hillary tried it, and she failed. Nobody mentions that. They act like, you know — it’s so terrible. She did that reset button; it was a joke. But she tried and she failed …

But Obama did not have the right chemistry with Putin. And Hillary was way over her head.

Of course, the bigger issues of diplomacy, especially surrounding the North Korea situation, are far more significant.

Of Japan and South Korea, Trump said:

It’s been a — I think it’s been a great trip. In certain ways, it’s been very epic. I think things have happened that have been really amazing. Prime Minister Abe came up to me just at the end [of APEC], and he said that since you left South Korea and Japan, that those two countries are now getting along much, much better. That’s from Prime Minister Abe — that there’s been a real bonding between South Korea and Japan. So that was great.

Of China, Trump said:

President Xi made a statement. If you read his statement yesterday — were you all there when he was speaking and made the statement in the big room — the Great Room?

He made a statement that he’s committed to stopping the nuclearization of North Korea. That’s a big statement. He made that statement, and a lot of people didn’t — they didn’t pick that up. I don’t think it was — because it was part of the speech. And somehow a lot people — to me, that was a very big statement. I even looked up — because I’m sitting waiting to speak — and I said, wow, that’s a big statement. He made that statement in his speech yesterday or the day before, when he made — you know, when we were speaking together. He put a statement out, Sarah [Sanders, press secretary], that said he’s committed to making that happen. That’s a big statement.

You know, he was, through this process — he’s the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. Some people say more powerful than Mao. With that being said, I really believe he’s a good person, he’s a good man, he wants to do right, he’s representing his people. He’s strong, he’s very strong. But you know, you look at some of what you saw was very impressive. It was very impressive.

He arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to be greeted by a delegation, an honour guard and a group of Vietnamese schoolchildren waving Vietnamese and American flags:

In Hanoi, Trump met with President Tran Dai Quang.

That evening, the Vietnamese president and his wife hosted a lavish state dinner in Trump’s honour at the International Convention Center:

I enjoyed this reaction:

Not just there, either — sadly, all over the Western world.

You can read the full remarks from Quang and Trump here. Excerpts follow:

PRESIDENT QUANG: (As interpreted.) Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, distinguished American guests, ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the leaders and people of Vietnam, I warmly welcome Mr. President and the high-level American delegation to Hanoi, Vietnam on a state visit at the most vibrant time of bilateral relations.

Leaders of the two countries attach great importance to the bilateral comprehensive cooperation. The presence of Mr. President and the distinguished American guests in Hanoi at the invitation of Vietnamese leaders is a testimony to that, as well as to the strong vitality of our relationship.

My congratulations to Mr. President on your productive, successful days within the APEC Economics Leaders Week in Da Nang City, with significant contributions to the overall success of the summit. I particularly appreciate Mr. President’s impressive speech at the APEC CEO Summit with a message reaffirming the strong and long-term commitment of the United States to the Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the nearby region.

As an Asia Pacific power, the United States has been and will be playing a very important role to the regional countries, and we want the United States to promote that role in a more active manner

President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam represents an important milestone and the best moment in the history of bilateral relations, opening up a vast future for new pages in the bonds between our nations. I wish to share Mr. President’s words: No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach

In this warm and friendly atmosphere, may I invite, Mr. President, American and Vietnamese friends to raise our glasses: To the ever-expanding relations between Vietnam and the United States, to the health of Mr. President, the two countries’ leaders, and to you all present here tonight.

Thank you.

(A toast is offered.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: President Quang, I would like to thank you very much. This is a very, very special time to be with you and the great people of Vietnam. We have come a long way, the United States and Vietnam. We’ve seen it from both sides of the picture, and this is the pleasant side.

You are doing a spectacular job, your people are doing a spectacular job, and in the United States likewise we are doing very, very well …

I toured Vietnam today. I was through the streets of Hanoi, and it’s incredible to see, incredible to watch, and it’s truly one of the great marvels. It really is something to behold. I would like to congratulate the people of Vietnam; I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on an outstanding job.

I would also like to send my condolences on Typhoon Damrey, which was devastating and a great loss of life in Vietnam. And please give my regards and our sympathies to everyone. I know you will rebuild, and the families will slowly rebuild. Very tough to recover from that kind of a loss. But please, on behalf of the United States, our condolences.

And at the same time, our congratulations on a job well done. Vietnam has truly become one of the great miracles of the world, and it’s very impressive. No matter where you come from, no matter who you are, when you look at what’s happened in Vietnam, there is nothing more impressive.

Thank you very much for this honor, and I look forward to seeing you, Mr. President, many, many times over the future. Thank you. (Applause.)

Trump’s schedule for the following day was packed:

9:05am (local) / 9:05pm (U.S. EST) THE PRESIDENT participates in a welcome ceremony and official photo – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

9:20am / 9:20pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

9:50am / 9:50pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a business event. Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

10:20am / 10:20pm THE PRESIDENT participates a joint press conference with President Quang of Vietnam – Presidential Palace, Hanoi, Vietnam

11:00am / 11:00pm THE PRESIDENT participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam – Communist Party of Vietnam Headquarters, Hanoi, Vietnam.

11:55am / 11:55pm THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam – Office of Government, Hanoi, Vietnam.

12:40pm / 12:40am THE PRESIDENT participates in an embassy meet and greet – Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam.

1:50pm / 1:50am THE PRESIDENT departs Hanoi, Vietnam en route to Manila, Philippines – Noi Bai International Airport.

6:00pm / 5:00am THE PRESIDENT arrives in Manila, Philippines. – Ninoy-Aquino International Airport.

7:30pm / 6:30am THE PRESIDENT attends a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – SMX Convention Center.

Trump’s motorcade went down the streets of Hanoi:

It arrived at the presidential palace:

Something historic — and incredible — happened during the welcome ceremony (photo here):

Afterwards, he was welcomed inside the presidential palace:

A significant bilateral meeting took place:

Afterwards, the two presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding:

Quang and Trump then gave a joint press conference (short video here):

Trump went for a meeting at the Communist Party HQ:

He had a third meeting, this time with Prime Minister Phuc:

Then it was time to leave for the Philippines, Trump’s last stop:

He arrived that evening:

Reuters reported that US veterans living in the Philippines love Trump. One said:

If he asked me to come and meet him in Manila, I’d be there in a shot.

The ASEAN summit gave Trump the opportunity to meet and get to know other leaders better, including:

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Trump attended the ASEAN gala event that night:

More on his meetings at ASEAN and with President Duterte tomorrow.

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On Friday, November 10, 2017, President Trump left China for Vietnam. First Lady Melania Trump remained in China for another day:

Mrs Trump visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage for the Month of the Military Family Celebration. She then returned to Washington DC.

The US president spent two days in Vietnam before flying to the Philippines:

At the zoo, a group of schoolchildren greeted Mrs Trump. She had a gift for every child:

For anyone wondering:

Lucky children. They were able to tour the zoo with her:

Mrs Trump expressed her thanks for being able to see GuGu the panda:

Then it was time for her final destination:

The Conservative Treehouse gives us background on the tour:

First Lady Melania Trump visited the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in China as the sun was starting to settle low on the horizon. It was windy and slightly cold as our First Lady signed a guest registry and was presented with a scroll from atop one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

A state official said that Yukun Zhang, chairman, Mutianyu Great Wall Travel Service Co., Ltd, received the first lady after the ride up on the cable car. After signing the guest registry Mrs. Trump made her way up a short flight of stairs to the Great Wall.

Mrs Trump wore flats:

Meanwhile, the US president landed at Da Nang International Airport:

Trump met US veterans who chose to live in Vietnam after the war. They met at the Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort and Spa. This transcript has his address and exchange with the retired soldiers. An excerpt follows:

Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us. We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home. I want to thank the government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts.

Today, I’m signing a proclamation to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War. This is part of the ongoing 13-year commemoration of their sacrifice for freedom. And I just want to thank these seven very brave people for being here. I got to know them for a few minutes upfront, and they are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them. I think they like me too. I’m not sure, but I think — (applause) — no, I think they do. I think they do. I think they see what we’re doing for our military.

Would you like to say a few words, any of you guys? Would you like to say something? Huh?

MR. HOPPER: Sure.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Come on. Come on up here. Here’s your chance. You can be a big star now.

MR. HOPPER: Well, I’m not sure about that. But just on behalf of many of us standing up in the front of the room today, I just want to say what an honor and privilege it is to be with our President. I so admire what you’re doing for our country.

Thank you for your dedication to our military, our country. And we’re all behind you in making America great again.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. Thank you very much.

MR. HOPPER: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. REYNOLDS: It’s an honor to be here. My family is so proud. My wife loves you. (Laughter.) She does. We all love you.

All of the veterans that I represent in my community asked me to say to you: Keep doing what you’re doing. We need to win. We need to make America great again. And we definitely think you are on the right track. So, thank you. It’s honor to meet you, sir.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We will keep it going, and we will get it done.

MR. REYNOLDS: Absolutely.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No doubt.

MR. REYNOLDS: I believe it. Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Anybody?

MR. MORGAN: Mr. President, from my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it’s an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home.

Thank you so much.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you so much. (Applause.)

MR. MORGAN: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You nervous?

MR. GOODE: I am nervous.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

MR. GOODE: I am nervous.

You know, it’s an honor for me to be here today to meet the President of the United States that’s doing such a fine job for America. I’m so proud of him and what he’s doing, and I’m also really proud to represent all those veterans that are back home to be one of seven of these veterans that are here today. It’s such an honor to represent the rest of those veterans in the United States of America.

Thank you.

This is the text of the aforementioned proclamation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Nearly every president since then has made a statement about finding the 1,253 missing veterans. Perhaps Trump will be the one to make that happen.

He also tweeted a 242nd happy birthday greeting to the United States Marine Corps.

Trump then went to the APEC CEO Summit 2017 at the Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center.

Trump addressed the summit. Note ‘H.E.’ before his name — His Excellency — in the video below:

The full transcript is here. This is is some of what he said:

This next one is really important:

This is also very important (emphases mine):

Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail

We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. We must stop radical Islamic terrorism.

So let us work together for a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific. I am confident that, together, every problem we have spoken about today can be solved and every challenge we face can be overcome.

If we succeed in this effort, if we seize the opportunities before us and ground our partnerships firmly in the interests of our own people, then together we will achieve everything we dream for our nations and for our children.

We will be blessed with a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, thriving in peace and commerce with others. They will be places where we can build our homes and where families, businesses, and people can flourish and grow.

If we do this, will we look at the globe half a century from now, and we will marvel at the beautiful constellation of nations — each different, each unique, and each shining brightly and proudly throughout this region of the world. And just as when we look at the stars in the night sky, the distance of time will make most of the challenges we have and that we spoke of today seem very, very small.

What will not seem small — what is not small — will be the big choices that all of our nations will have to make to keep their stars glowing very, very brightly.

Another fabulous speech by Stephen Miller. What a man he is, blessed by God with a talent for prose.

He also met Vladimir Putin ahead of their meeting on November 11. Men were given silk Vietnamese shirts to wear for the evening’s events (the more formal photo is here):

The two did not meet formally at APEC, although they found time to converse. Reuters reported that they discussed defeating ISIS and confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty. The Daily Mail has more. Both media outlets say that the Kremlin issued a joint statement, however, the White House offered no confirmation.

The APEC gala dinner followed. Before dinner:

A cultural performance concluded a busy day.

Meanwhile, Mrs Trump was in Alaska and spent time talking with the children attending school at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The children were decorating paper fish and sculpting Play Doh:

She also spoke with military personnel:

Mrs Trump arrived at the White House late that night.

More on Trump’s second day in Vietnam tomorrow.

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