Trump's Asia Trip: The Most Memorable Moments, From Putin Talks To North Korea Warnings

Believing Vladimir Putin's denials of Russia's election meddling. Bonding with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte. Warning North Korea against nuclear threats.

President Trump's 12 days in Asia generated headline after headline. These were the standout moments: 

1. "Do not underestimate us, and do not try us."

In a speech to South Korean legislators, Trump threw out a strong warning to North Korea: "We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated." Trump encouraged other nations to increase their economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure to thwart the rogue nation's nuclear weapons program.

During that same speech, he also promised North Korea a "a path towards a much better future."

2. "I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'"

Then came Trump's tweeted insult at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who had called Trump a "lunatic old man" earlier in the week. (Kim's government called Trump was a "destroyer" who "begged for nuclear war.")

"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" Trump tweeted. 

Asked later about the possibility of friendship with Kim, Trump seemed open to the idea. "Strange things happen in life. That might be a strange thing that happens. But it is certainly a possibility," Trump said. "If that did happen, it would be a good thing for, I can tell you, for North Korea... and it would be good for the world."

3. Putin "means it" when he says Russia didn't meddle in election

Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an economic summit in Vietnam, and a familiar narrative played out. Trump said he asked Putin if Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Putin replied Russia did not. It was akin to an exchange the two had over the summer at the G-20 summit.

"Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," Trump said. "But he says I didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country." 

4. But Trump then says he actually believes the intelligence community

Trump also suggested he believes Putin over the U.S. intelligence community, which has concluded that Russia did in fact intervene in the election with by coordinating a campaign of cyberattacks and fake news postings on social media.  

"I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks," Trump said of former intel officials John Brennan and James Clapper and former FBI director James Comey. Trump, who fired Comey in May, also called Comey a "liar" and "a leaker." 

His comments caught fire, drawing criticism from the likes of Brennan, the former CIA director.  "It's something that I think that Mr. Trump should be ashamed of," Brennan said on CNN.

So Trump later clarified. He believes that Putin doesn't think Russia meddled — but Trump himself believes the intelligence community. "I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership," Trump said. 

5. His "great relationship" with Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a controversial figure who has been accused of human rights violations – including extra-judicial killings in a bloody drug war.

But Trump told of his "great relationship" with Duterte, characterizing it as "very successful." Just how chummy are they? Enough that Duterte serenaded Trump with a love song.

6. "I don't blame China."

Trump, speaking about bilateral trade during an event with Chinese President Xi Jinping, called the trade practices between the two countries "one-sided and unfair." But he blamed the U.S. for that, he said.

"I do blame past administrations for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place and to grow," he said.

Contrast this with the rhetoric Trump had toward China during the campaign, when he said, "We can't continue to allow China to rape our country and that's what they're doing."

7. Fish food

While in Japan, Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fed Asian carp in a koi pond. At first, they doled out the food bit by bit. But by the end, Abe dumped the rest of the food into the pond. Trump then followed his lead (a part that caught fire on the Internet, despite the fact that the president was merely mirroring the prime minister).

8. The handshake

Never forget that the ASEAN-Way Handshake is not easy to pull off.

President Trump travels to Asia

Air Force One, with U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump onboard, arrives at the U.S. Yokota Air Base, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. President Trump arrives to begin a five-nation trip to Asia, his second extended foreign trip since taking office and his first to Asia. 01 / 08
Air Force One, with U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump onboard, arrives at the U.S. Yokota Air Base, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. President Trump arrives to begin a five-nation trip to Asia, his second extended foreign trip since taking office and his first to Asia. 01 / 08

 

Source : http://www.wbir.com/article/news/nation-now/trumps-asia-trip-the-most-memorable-moments-from-putin-talks-to-north-korea-warnings/465-6acd4be5-e972-40b0-8553-3bcf4f915f60

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