Trump meets with Japan’s Shinzo Abe at White House
Abe is in Washington for two days, as they discuss a range of security and economic issues. Mr. Trump wants Japan to move towards a bilateral free trade agreement, but Japan has been reluctant, preferring instead an accord that includes several countries. Together, the U.S. and Japanese economies account for nearly a third of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On Friday, Mr. Trump told reporters he and Abe would talk about “missiles and rockets and everything else,” as they work towards a deal. Mr. Trump told reporters he thinks a deal could happen “fairly quickly.”
North Korea is also likely to come up in conversation, after the president’s failed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Washington Post first reported Thursday, and CBS News confirmed, that the North Koreans handed the U.S. a $2 million bill for the medical expenses of the now-late American student Otto Warmbier. Mr. Trump insisted on Twitter and to reporters Friday morning that no payment was made.
Abe has visited the White House before, and this year, Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit him in Japan May 25 to 28. Mr. Trump said they may attend a sumo wrestling match during the visit.
“This is really about deepening our global partnership with Japan, it’s also about our alliance, our partnership and the President’s personal friendship with Prime Minister Abe,” one senior administration official told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “President Trump has consulted closely with Prime Minister Abe since the beginning of his presidency. The two leaders have met on multiple occasions and held dozens of phone calls or meetings since President Trump has been in office.”
But another topic has been on the president’s mind lately, in light of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report claiming the president ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn to try to fire Mueller. Mr. Trump claims he never gave such an order.
Asked if he believes McGahn could be charged with perjury, since the president claims Mueller’s report is a lie, said he didn’t want to discuss that now.
“I don’t want to talk about that now,” the president said. “We have other things that we’re talking about but I’ll respond to that question at a later date.”