- President Donald Trump loved the treatment he received in Asia.
- “It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever seen,” he said.
President Donald Trump on Monday lauded the treatment he received in Asia during his lengthy trip abroad, praising it as “red carpet” unlike anyone has ever seen.
It was the latest remark in Trump’s continued praise of the lavish scenes he was met with overseas, which included throngs of children jumping and cheering for him at the Beijing airport, a military ceremony in Vietnam, and a red carpet event in the Philippines.
“It was red carpet like nobody, I think, has probably ever seen,” he said.
In turn, Trump lavished praise on leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, even suggesting that the US trade imbalance with China, something he said along the campaign trail was the equivalent of China “raping” the US, was not China’s fault, but the fault of past US leadership.
Asked about his visit to China, Trump said he has a “very good relationship” with Xi and praised the state dinner he received.
“It’s the biggest state entrance at the biggest state dinner they’ve ever had. By far. In China,” Trump told reporters, saying of Xi, “He called it, ‘state plus.’ In fact, he actually said, ‘state plus plus,’ which is very interesting. But he’s, you know, look, again, he’s a strong person, he’s a very smart person. I like him a lot. He likes me. But we represent two very different countries but we get along very well. And that’s a good thing that we get along. That’s not a bad thing.”
Such comments led past US national security leaders to express concern that foreign leaders “think they can play” Trump with grandiose displays and flattery.
John Brennan, the former head of the CIA under President Barack Obama, responded to Trump’s weekend tweets praising Russia and China and other comments about those nations’ leaders as a demonstration “to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national-security standpoint.”
James Clapper, director of national intelligence under Obama, said he believes “both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play” Trump.
Speaking to reporters overseas, Trump called the two men “political hacks,” adding that former FBI Director James Comey “is proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker.”
Trump was asked about whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he did not meddle in the 2016 US election. The president said it was important for Putin to say that, adding that “he is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it.”
But “as to whether I believe it, I’m with our agencies,” he said, referring to US intelligence agencies that determined that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election.