The pool was led into Oval Office at 10:55 a.m. for POTUS meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
POTUS called it a “great honor” to meet his counterpart and said he was in a tough position over Brexit. He called him a “very popular” leader.
The PM talked of strengthening ties with the U.S. and said he looked forward to discussing Brexit later, as well as immigration and trade. POTUS said the EU has been “tough” to deal with.
POTUS said he would visit Ireland at some point this year. Asked about Brexit, he said it was “tearing countries apart” and later reminded the press that he predicted it would gain public approval. Said he was surprised “how badly” it has gone since then. “I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner.”
POTUS said he would like to see the situation worked out but looked forward to dealing with Europe on trade. Said the PM, “I regret that Brexit’s happening.”
On Boeing, POTUS said he expected the grounding would be a short period but Boeing has to figure out the problem.
On the national emergency resolution, he said, “I’ll probably have to veto.” POTUS maintained he had the authority.
On Beto O’Rourke, Trump jokingly said, “I think he’s got a lot of hand movement.” He declined to say who is a stronger opponent, Beto or Joe Biden.
POTUS repeated recent remarks on China trade talks. “They are moving along very well.”
More to come. We just left the room.