Trump Says He Still Plans to Visit London – New York Times
HAMBURG — A day after a closely watched meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, President Trump on Saturday said he was working with Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain on a date to visit London, after the two held what he called “tremendous talks” on trade.
After a night of car fires and looting in the streets of Hamburg, Mr. Trump met with Mrs. May on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit conference of the world’s major economic powers. It was the final day of the gathering, where the differences between the United States and the other 19 nations on trade and climate change have been on vivid display.
“Nothing’s easy,” Mr. Trump said of the gathering on Saturday as he complimented its host, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has been toiling to bridge the gap between the United States and other nations, for handling the challenge “so professionally.”
While Mr. Trump abhors multilateral trade agreements, he is enthusiastic about the bilateral sort. He said that he and the British prime minister had developed a “very special” relationship and were at work on “a very powerful” trade agreement that could be completed “very, very quickly.”
It is not clear what the president meant about the timing, since the two sides cannot complete such an agreement until after Britain leaves the European Union, in March 2019 at the soonest, most experts say.
Amid speculation about whether Mr. Trump would visit London, since Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked him to stay away and there has been concern about huge protests should he appear, the president confirmed he still planned to visit.
“I will be going to London,” he told reporters.
Further details on the timing and circumstances of the visit were not immediately available. The White House and Downing Street had earlier dismissed news reports that Mr. Trump was considering a quick visit to Britain on his way back to the United States from the G-20 meeting.
Mr. Trump was also bracing for a tense meeting withe President Xi Jinping of China later Saturday in which North Korea’s escalating provocations, including the launch last week of an intercontinental ballistic missile, were to be the main focus. The president, who initially bonded with Mr. Xi at an April meeting at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. has grown frustrated at his response to the North’s behavior, arguing that China must use its influence — including economic ties — with Pyongyang to calm tensions and help pave the way for nuclear disarmament talks.
Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, said on Friday that China’s willingness to pressure North Korea to date had been “uneven.”
“China has taken significant action, and then I think, for a lot of different reasons, they’ve paused,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters. “We’ve continued to make that clear to China, that we would prefer they take the actions themselves, and we’re still calling upon them to do that.”
Also on Saturday, United States officials said that Mr. Trump would direct the State Department to steer $50 million from its foreign-aid budget to a new international public-private partnership to aid midsize businesses run by women that his daughter Ivanka Trump helped create, according to officials.
The partnership, the World Bank Group Facility for Women Entrepreneurship, aims to “help women in developing countries gain increased access to the finance, markets and networks necessary to start and grow a business,” a spokesman for Ms. Trump said.
The contribution comes as the Trump administration considers a drastic scaling-back of foreign aid as part of the president’s “America First” campaign pledge to target federal funding to creating jobs at home. His budget, released in April, but largely ignored on Capitol Hill, would include deep cuts to the United States Agency for International Development, a major conduit for foreign assistance.
The president planned to announce the formation of the fund at an event with the World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany later on Saturday.
Meanwhile, there were conflicting accounts of what had transpired when Mr. Trump raised the question of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election during his meeting with Mr. Putin on Friday. Mr. Trump, who said he and the Russian leader had a “tremendous meeting” on the G-20 sidelines, ignored a shouted question about whether the Russians had misrepresented their conversation.
While Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Mr. Trump had pressed Mr. Putin on the matter, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said that Mr. Trump had accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of any interference and that Mr. Trump had spoken of the issue being “exaggerated” by some people in the United States.
As the conference wound down and G-20 leaders were preparing a communiqué, officials continued intense negotiations on climate change language, which was proving a difficult sticking point as the United States pressed for a reference to efforts to stay engaged in the issue now that it has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and France voiced objections.
While the negotiations dragged on, a mass demonstration was planned for later in the day by civil society groups. That would follow violent protests on Friday night by anticapitalists and anarchists that by early Saturday had left Hamburg’s Schanze district with shattered storefronts and the remnants of the smell of fire hanging in the air.
The demonstrations were brought under control only after German police called in special forces to stop the burning of cars and looting.
Officials said that overnight about 1,500 protesters had taken over the streets of Hamburg’s leftist district, where there is a tradition of protests and clashes with the police. In recent years, the area had been gentrifying, with more middle-class residents moving in, making the district an even more attractive target for the anticapitalist protesters.
Hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany hosted the leaders in the port city’s elegant Elbe Philharmonic Hall to hear Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, plumes of smoke rose from the center of the city as the protests escalated. The police said some 500 protesters had looted a supermarket and set it on fire.
Videos posted on social media showed the smashed glass of a looted Apple store, while another showed masked demonstrators clad in black plundering a grocery store. Other images showed masked protesters being chased by helmeted, heavily armed police officers against a backdrop of flames and smoke.
The authorities said the protesters were armed with homemade incendiary devices and iron bars. Activists said the authorities had turned water cannons against them more than 20 times on Friday. Each side reported injuries among their ranks, including at least 14 people who were hospitalized. At least 83 people were arrested, officials said.
A local Budniskowsky supermarket was broken into and pillaged, with its contents emptied or destroyed and graffiti lining the walls.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Cord Wöhlke, the owner of the chain, who added that he aimed to begin repairs on Monday and reopen the store on Wednesday.
As the evening began in St. Pauli area, about 30 protesters barred roadways near the main train station with cinder blocks and pieces of a fence.
Dozens of police vans were forced to turn around because of the blockade, until about 200 riot police and two trucks arrived. The trucks used water cannons to disperse the protesters, who threw stones and rocks at the vehicles.
“It’s out of control,” said Heidi Dallhaus, a Hamburg resident. “The protesters are provoking the police, and the police have no other way than to respond like this. Each side is now blaming each other, who started first, but a lot of people came here just to be violent. For them, it’s not about politics anymore. It’s about creating chaos.”
By morning, residents were taking over their streets, cleaning up trash and assessing the situation. Piles of charred trash, bicycles and a refrigerator lay heaped on the sidewalk. Dozens of shop windows — even those that had been taped with “No G20” and other slogans — hung in shards.
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