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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland and an Exchange With Reporters

March 15, 2018

The President's Travel to Ireland

Q. Mr. President, are you going to come visit us soon?

President Trump. I will. I love it. I love it.

Q. Can you give us a date? When do you think you'll be going to Ireland?

The President. I have property there, and I may never get to see it again, but I will tell.

Q. Will you play golf? Will you play golf?

President Trump. I do play golf.

Q. Will you play golf in Ireland?

President Trump. And you play golf, right?

Prime Minister Varadkar. I don't, but I'm always willing to learn so you can have me for a few rounds.

Ireland-Northern Ireland Border/Ireland-U.S. Relations

Q. Are you going to visit the border, Mr. President, with Northern Ireland?

President Trump. Well, that's an interesting border also. We have two interesting borders. One happens to be where you are, right?

Prime Minister Varadkar. That's right.

President Trump. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

It's my great honor to have the very popular Prime Minister of Ireland with us. And we're having some good talks about trade and about military and about cyber and all of the other things that we're talking about. The relationship is outstanding and only getting better.

And it really is a very special group of people. A tremendous number of Irish are living in New York, where I grew up, and they're living in the United States, and these are truly wonderful people. We love them. And Mr. Prime Minister, it's great to have you, thank you.

Prime Minister Varadkar. My pleasure. Thanks for the invitation to be there.

So I'm going to be in New York on Saturday.

President Trump. Oh, good. Wow, that's good.

Prime Minister Varadkar. Yes, for the parade. So marching on Fifth Avenue.

President Trump. That's good, I'd like to do it with you, I don't know.

Prime Minister Varadkar. Does it pass Trump Tower?

President Trump. [Laughter] It does.

Prime Minister Varadkar. It does. Okay. Okay. President Trump. It goes right by Trump Tower.

Prime Minister Varadkar. That has to be good.

President Trump. I used to watch it all the time. I would watch it all the time. So you'll be there on Saturday?

Prime Minister Varadkar. Yes, yes.

President Trump. Wow, that's good.

Prime Minister Varadkar. So a lot my—a lot of the American side of my family came through New York. They're all in New Jersey and Florida now.

President Trump. All right. That's right.

Prime Minister Varadkar. But some of them will be at the reception later.

President Trump. Oh, right? That's right. That would—that makes sense. And this is the first time in the Oval Office. And it's special.

Prime Minister Varadkar. I was telling President Trump, I was here before as a congressional intern back in 2000, but they didn't let me into the Oval Office on that occasion.

President Trump. But now we do. You've made great progress. Thank you. Thank you for being with us. Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Varadkar. Yes, absolutely. I look forward to talking about trade and a few other things later on.

Q. Mr. Trump, will you change your mind on the steel tariffs?

Q. Any comment on the Russian sanctions, Mr. President?

Poisoning of Former Russian Spy Sergei Viktorovich Skripal in Salisbury, United Kingdom

Q. What are you going to do about—do you think Putin was behind this, Mr. President?

President Trump. It looks like it. I spoke with the Prime Minister, and we are in deep discussions. A very sad situation. It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it. Something that should never, ever happen. And we're taking it very seriously, as, I think, are many others.

White House Staff Changes

Q. And any more staff changes coming, sir?

President Trump. Well, the story was very false. I mean, they wrote a story about staff changes today that was very false. We had made a wonderful change. I think Mike Pompeo is going to be an incredible Secretary of State. We have some wonderful ideas.

I've gotten to know a lot of people over the last year. You know, I've been in Washington for a little bit more than a year, whereas some people have been here for 30, 40 years. I've gotten to know great people.

So there will always be change, but very little. It was a very false story.

Q. Do you have confidence in David Shulkin, sir?

President Trump. It was very—a very exaggerated—a very exaggerated and false story. But there will always be change, and I think you want to see change. And I want to also see different ideas. Larry Kudlow just came in a little while ago, and I think Larry is going to be outstanding as economic adviser, so we look forward to it. But we'll talk to you about it later.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you everybody.

Prime Minister Justin P.J. Trudeau of Canada

Q. Have you always been truthful with Prime Minister Trudeau?

President Trump. Thank you very much.

The President's Travel to Ireland

Q. Might you come to Ireland next year, Mr. President?

President Trump. It could happen. Yes.

Q. Before reelection?

President Trump. That could happen. Well, maybe—maybe if that helps, right? [Laughter.]

Prime Minister Varadkar. [Inaudible]

President Trump. I look forward to being there. It's a great country.

Q. You've received a formal invitation?

President Trump. I guess I have received a formal invitation.

Q. Will you visit the border?

President Trump. I've gone to the border.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Q. Will you reconsider the steel tariffs, President Trump?

President Trump. Thank you. Thank you. Say hello to the people. Say hello. Great people.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:55 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom; and National Economic Council Director Lawrence A. Kudlow. Reporters referred to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin of Russia; and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/332496

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