Irish PM Leo Varadkar visits president Trump amidst White House chaos.
Amidst a very busy and controversial few days for the White House, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar paid a visit to Trump and the White House.
Trump and Varadkar had a history that stretched beyond their political relationship. They had first met “three or four years ago” when Varadkar was the minister of tourism and Trump had just purchased a golf resort. According to the recount of the history, a proposed wind farm had threatened the view of the golf course, and in typical Trump fashion, he rang county council and the wind farm was never built. Varadkar said, “Trump doesn’t do things the way other people do.”
They spoke briefly about politics in Ireland, steering clear of any contentious U.S. foreign policy topics or any of the recent headlines in the news. They did apparently discuss, “military, trade and cyber” topics, as well as the future of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
When asked by a reporter if Trump planned on visiting the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, he said he would, also adding, “that’s an interesting border also.”
The White House administration continuously mentioned the commonalities between the two nations – namely the many prominent Irish-Americans involved in politics in the U.S., especially in Congress. Joking about the high disposition of Irish-Americans in U.S. politics, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “ You’ve got Pence. You’ve got Kelly. You’ve got Mulvaney. You’ve got O’Mnuchin…. Our meetings start twice as late and last twice as long.”
Trump also made mention of the long history of Irish immigration to the U.S., especially during America’s development years. He spoke proudly when he said, “more than 30 million Americans today claim Irish heritage”. PM Varadkar also mentioned the high representation of Americans in U.S. politics, saying, “it is a really great source of pride to all of us.”
Varadkar himself has some ties with the U.S., having worked as a congressional intern in 2000 in Buffalo. He spoke with a high value of his memories, and said that “I learned the art of politics here.”
Both leaders stressed the value they placed on the relationship between the two nations, with Trump saying: “We look forward to an exciting future that we will all share together.” These comments were reiterated by the Irish PM, who said, “The United States has been our most steadfast partner through the years”.