Mr. Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, which was intended for Saturday morning, on Thursday via Twitter, citing Russian aggression against Ukraine. His announcement came shortly after Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former private lawyer, to lying to Congress as part of the special counsel investigation.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Mr. Trump’s decision to cancel the news conference was in no way influenced by Cohen’s plea deal.
“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well. Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia. However, the reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine. Hopefully, that will be resolved soon so that productive conversations can begin,” Sanders said.
“Pleasantries” with the Saudi Crown Prince
On Friday, Mr. Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmana White House official told reporters at the summit.
Mr. Trump told reporters on his way to Argentina Thursday he would have met with the crown prince, but a meeting wasn’t set up. The president has insisted the U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia, despite the CIA’s conclusion that the crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mr. Trump insists it’s impossible to know what happened, and claims the CIA never reached any conclusions.
Asked what he and the crown prince discussed, Mr. Trump told reporters Friday they didn’t discuss anything. The crown prince and Putin greeted each other happily at the summit, in a handshake that went viral.
Mr. Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed their intention to move ahead with their new trade pact.
Much of the president’s reasoning for changing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was his claim that the agreement was so widely despised, and needed to be renamed. Mr. Trump calls it the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” or “USMCA.”
The trade agreement still has to be approved by each nation’s legislatures, although the president expressed optimism about his chances in Congress. Democrats take control of the House in January.
“It’s been well-reviewed. I don’t expect to have much of a problem,” Mr. Trump said of his expectations for the agreement in Congress.