PARIS – President Trump arrived in Paris on Friday – at the end of a week that saw his party lose control of a chamber of Congress and the expulsion of its attorney general – meet its French counterpart and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the world War I.
A few minutes after the landing in Paris, Mr. Trump tweeted the comments of French President Emmanuel Macron this week on French radio. The French president called for the creation of a "real European army", in a critique of the transatlantic security ties before Mr. Trump's visit.
Mr. Trump, who is scheduled to hold talks with Mr. Macron on Saturday, tweeted"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military to protect itself from the United States, China and Russia Very offensive, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO , that the United States subsidize a lot! "
The scrambled encounters on Twitter recalled such a public discussion between the two men on trade ahead of their meetings at the Group of Seven summit meeting in June.
The second official visit of the president to Paris coincides with the Veterans Day in the United States and will aim to honor the people who helped to defend the United States in times of war and peace.
Trump is among the dozens of world leaders who should attend the events this weekend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The French president will host a lunch for many visiting leaders.
A senior White House official said Mr. Trump would have to hold an interview only with Mr. Macron and had no formal meetings or scheduled discussions with Putin or other leaders.
Mr Trump's trip arrives a few days after the Democrats have won control of Parliament in Tuesday's mid-term elections, which will put them in a position to delay or block the president's agenda, which goes from his border wall proposed with Mexico to trade agreements that promised to renegotiate. One day after the elections, at a press conference in the White House that revolves freely and often fights, he has promised a "warlike posture" if the Democrats were supervising, while at the same time urging bipartisanship.
On foreign relations, Trump took a note of optimism, tweeting that allies in other countries who were waiting to negotiate trade agreements had congratulated him on the GOP's victories. "Now we can go back to work and do everything!", He wrote on Twitter.
The tough trade talks between the United States and its European partners have been going on for several months, but the president's decision to impose steel and aluminum charges on many of America's closest allies and business partners has created a tense work, even with France. Macron also opposes the re-imposition of sanctions by the Trump administration on Iran and the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement of Obama.
Most Western companies and banks were withdrawn from Iran before sanctions were reset, fearing a loss of access to the US economy. But European politicians have tried to find ways to protect their companies and allow them to continue doing business with Iran.
The European Union has sought to outline a special payment channel for trade with Iran that processes US sanctions and allows European countries to continue doing business with the Iranians.
Messrs Trump and Macron have chosen to put aside persistent differences on issues such as climate change and instead focus on areas where they can cooperate, including a post-war road map for Syria and wider security in the Middle East. They also promised to work together on conflicts in Ukraine and Libya.
Mr. Trump signed a presidential proclamation on Friday, which, combined with a new rule issued by his administration, blocks immigrants who illegally cross the border from the asylum process, a move that critics say overshoot the president's legal authority to change the law on immigration of the United States and is certain to end up in court.
The new rule aims to push asylum seekers to already crowded border crossing points and to deny the possibility of seeking asylum to almost all immigrants illegally captured at the border. The rule becomes effective at 12:01 ET on Saturday.
The proclamation that Mr. Trump signed suspends entry into the United States to cross illegal borders for 90 days. Administration officials say the president has the authority to restrict asylum for some foreigners under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
"People can get in, but they have to go through the ports of entry," Trump told reporters as he left for Paris on Friday.
Administrative officials in a call with journalists said that people fleeing persecution and in need of protection should look for them in Mexico rather than in the United States "It's in their interest, in everyone's interest, for them to seek that protection as soon as possible, "said an administration official.
The change of rules and the expected proclamation – which effectively modify the law on immigration of the United States – are aimed at reducing the volume of immigrants who illegally cross the border to seek asylum in the United States. It arrives while the president in the weeks before the election day repeatedly criticized the thousands of mostly Central American migrants who travel to the United States in more caravans traveling through Mexico. After the election, Mr. Trump did not tweet about the caravan and made little mention of it publicly.
The commemoration of the Sunday Armistice Day will be absent from the fanfare – and military parade – that captured the president's interest during his visit to Paris for the Bastille celebrations last July, inspiring the White House's efforts to organize a similar military parade in Washington on the 10th of this year. The Pentagon and the White House in August declared that the parade would be postponed to 2019.
Mr. Trump's visit is intended to be a low-profile observation of the anniversary, with the president and first lady planning to pay tribute to the American cemetery and memorial of the Aisne-Marne on Saturday . The president is also ready to speak at an American memorial service at the American cemetery in Suresnes.
In his White House press conference, Mr. Trump said he expected the commemoration to be "very beautiful".
"I can not wait to go," he said. "And we represent the incredible heroes of the world, but the heroes of our country since the First World War."
-Rebecca Ballhaus contributed to this article.
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