Trump, Macron look past di­vi­sion on Paris cli­mate pact

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Vi­vian Salama

PARIS» Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron set aside lin­ger­ing dif­fer­ences on cli­mate change dur­ing their meet­ing in France on Thurs­day, as­sert­ing that it shouldn’t pre­vent them from work­ing to­gether to­ward a post-war roadmap for Syria and to en­hance Mideast se­cu­rity.

Trump, stand­ing along­side Macron at a news con­fer­ence, said the two na­tions have “oc­ca­sional dis­agree­ments” but that would not dis­rupt a friend­ship that dates back to the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. He re­mained non­com­mit­tal about the United States even­tu­ally re­join­ing the global cli­mate agree­ment that bears Paris’ name, telling Macron, “if it hap­pens, that will be won­der­ful. And if it doesn’t, that will be OK, too.”

Macron ac­knowl­edged sharp dif­fer­ences

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on the Paris cli­mate pact but said the two lead­ers could find other ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion. “Should that have an im­pact on the dis­cus­sions we’re hav­ing on all other top­ics? No, ab­so­lutely not,” he said.

Trump ar­rived in the French cap­i­tal on Thurs­day for a whirl­wind, 36-hour visit to meet with Macron and tackle po­ten­tial so­lu­tions to the cri­sis in Syria and dis­cuss broader coun­tert­er­ror­ism strate­gies be­fore Bastille Day cel­e­bra­tions Fri­day.

The pres­i­dent landed in Paris amid ques­tions about emails show­ing that his el­dest son, Don­ald Trump Jr., wel­comed the prospect of re­ceiv­ing Rus­sian gov­ern­ment sup­port in last year’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign be­tween his fa­ther and Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Trump de­fended his name­sake, say­ing “most peo­ple would have taken that meet­ing,” a mes­sage that con­tra­dicted his in­com­ing FBI di­rec­tor’s tes­ti­mony that Trump Jr. should have alerted au­thor­i­ties.

Trump called his son a “won­der­ful young man” and con­tin­ued to down­play the is­sue, say­ing that “noth­ing hap­pened” as a re­sult of the meet­ing.

Dur­ing his flight to Paris, Trump had praised his son as “a good boy” and a “good kid” and said that he’d lis­tened to the Rus­sian lawyer’s pitch “out of po­lite­ness.”

Trump also con­tin­ued to cast doubt on the con­clu­sion of U.S. in­tel­li­gence agen­cies that Putin had med­dled in the elec­tion to help him win, telling re­porters that “the next time I’m with Putin, I’m go­ing to ask him: Who were you re­ally for? Be­cause I can’t be­lieve that he would have been for me.” The con­ver­sa­tion was orig­i­nally de­scribed as off the record, but the White House de­cided to re­lease por­tions Thurs­day.

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