The Latest: Trump hails Mexico’s president as a ‘friend’

July 7, 2017
Poland's first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, second right, reaches her hand to U.S. First Lady Melania Trump as U.S. President Donald Trump reaches his hand for a handshake after his speech in Krasinski Square, with Polish President Andrzej Duda standing right, in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, July 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s second official visit to Europe (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is hailing Mexico’s president as his “friend” in their first face-to-face meeting.

Trump met with President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of an international summit in Hamburg, Germany, Friday.

Pena Nieto was scheduled to be among Trump’s first international White House guests but abruptly canceled the visit after a public spat over Trump’s proposed border wall.

Trump maintains that he will build the border wall to keep drugs and criminals out of the U.S. — although those plans still remain unclear. He said Friday that he “absolutely” wants Mexico to pay for the wall.

Pena Nieto insists Mexico will not pay for the wall.

Trump said, “it’s great to be with my friend the president of Mexico”

Pena Nieto said he hopes to continue a “flowing dialogue.”


2:41 p.m.

President Donald Trump is holding talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The leaders are meeting during an international summit taking place in Hamburg, Germany. It’s their first meeting since Trump became president.

Pena Nieto had planned to be among the first leaders to visit Trump at the White House. But Pena Nieto canceled at the last minute due to disagreement over Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for a wall Trump campaigned on building along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration.

Pena Nieto says Mexico will not pay.

Trump has vowed to tighten border security while cracking down on undocumented workers and drug cartels. But he has been less insistent about Mexico footing the bill for the wall.


1:28 p.m.

Anti-globalization protesters are keeping U. S. first lady Melania Trump from joining the spouses of world leaders attending an international summit in Germany.

Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says Hamburg police haven’t cleared the first lady to leave the government guest house where she and President Donald Trump spent the night because of the protesters.

Spouses typically get together while leaders are in meetings during international summits like these.

Friday’s program for the spouses included a boat ride, lunch and a tour of a climate control center.

Mrs. Trump tweeted that she was thinking of those who were hurt during protests that began Thursday.

She says she hopes everyone stays safe.

Anti-globalization activists have set dozens of cars ablaze and tried to block leaders’ delegations from entering the grounds of the Group of 20 summit. Police have said at least 111 officers were hurt during Thursday’s clashes.


1:18 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first encounter at a leaders’ retreat in Hamburg, Germany was caught on tape.

The two leaders were seen shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries ahead of their planned formal, sit-down meeting in video posted to Facebook by the German Cabinet.

As officials gathered around a table, Trump outstretched his hand to Putin and then patted his elbow. Both men smiled.

Another brief video clip shows Trump casually patting Putin on the back as they stand side by side.


1:07 p.m.

President Donald Trump is participating in a photo-op with other world leaders at an international summit in Germany.

Trump stood in the first row as the Group of 20 world leaders posed for their official “family portrait.” It’s a longstanding tradition.

Trump was spotted speaking with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on his way into the event.

He later stood next to and chatted with French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump will be visiting Paris next week in honor of Bastille Day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stood on the opposite side of the stage.


12:12 p.m.

President Donald Trump was spotted chatting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May as he sat down with fellow world leaders for a discussion on fighting terrorism at a German summit.

Merkel and Trump sat next to each other and exchanged pleasantries at the opening session of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit Friday.

Trump also chatted with May, who was seated immediately to his left. Russian leader Vladimir Putin sat several seats away.

Trump has alienated some U.S. allies with his decision to pull the U.S. out of an international climate agreement and his tough talk on trade.


11:45 a.m.

The spokesman for Russian leader Vladimir Putin is shrugging off President Donald Trump’s call to reduce Russia’s dominance of the natural gas supply for Eastern Europe.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters, “There’s no energy monopoly in Europe” ahead of the planned meeting of the Russian and U.S. leaders in Hamburg, Germany.

Trump said in a speech in Poland Thursday that he wants to make sure Poland and its neighbors are “never again held hostage” to a single supplier of energy.

Peskov says: “All this will be decided by the market, it should not be decided politically.”


11:35 a.m.

The Kremlin says that President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump have exchanged a handshake and a few words ahead of their sit-down at the G-20 summit.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin and Trump “shook hands and told each other that they will shortly have a separate meeting.”

Asked about Trump’s tweet that he’s looking forward to meeting with Putin and they have “much to discuss,” Peskov answered that the Russian president is also looking forward to the encounter.

The long-anticipated Putin-Trump meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump brings up Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The two presidents are expected to focus on the Syrian war, the Ukrainian crisis and the fight against terrorism.


10:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is joining fellow world leaders at the first session of a two-day summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 global economic powers opens Friday with a discussion on fighting terrorism — one of the least contentious subjects on an agenda that also includes global trade and climate.

The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman isn’t attending, and his country is represented by Ibrahim al-Assaf, the minister of state.

Also attending the summit are the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.


10:38 a.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting that “everyone” in Hamburg, Germany is talking about the Democrats’ response to Russian election hacking ahead of his highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump writes ahead of his arrival at the group of 20 summit: “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”

Podesta was the former chair of Trump 2016 rival Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Podesta did not run the Democratic National Committee.

U.S. intelligent agencies have blamed the hacking of the DNC as well as Podesta’s personal email account on the Russian government.


10:33 a.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived at a German convention center to join other world leaders for an annual meeting.

Trump was welcomed with a handshake from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the summit host.

Leaders of the world’s rich and developing nation are discussing a variety of issues over two days of meetings, including trade and climate change.

Trump has two big meetings on his schedule apart from the formal summit agenda.

He’ll meet for the first time as president with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the backdrop of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump tweeted Friday before arriving at the summit that he’s looking forward to meeting Putin because they have “much to discuss.”

Trump will also hold talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.


9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting that he’s looking forward to his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an international summit in Hamburg, Germany. Trump says in the tweet there is “much to discuss.”

Trump was set to arrive shortly at the Group of 20 summit. He’s scheduled to meet later in the day with Putin in a highly anticipated meeting.

The encounter is coming at a pivotal time in U.S.-Russian relations. Trump will be closely watched to see if he confronts Putin over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Other issues like Syria, the Ukraine and terrorism are expected to be discussed.


9:30 a.m.

After weeks of anticipation, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are preparing to meet at an international summit in Germany.

Friday’s much-anticipated encounter comes at a pivotal time in U.S.-Russian relations. Trump will be closely watched to see if he confronts Putin over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. lawmakers and federal investigators are continuing to look into Russia’s election interference, along with possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian government officials.

That puts Trump under intense scrutiny over how he handles the sit-down with Putin, a former Russian intelligence agent known to come well-prepared to meetings like this.

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