- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

President Trump rebuffed criticism Monday that he has changed his stance on China after meeting with the country’s president to discuss North Korea.

The president, who was very critical of China’s trade and currency policies during his campaign, said on “Fox & Friends” that the nuclear situation in North Korea takes precedent.

“What am I going to do, start a trade war with China in the middle of him working on a bigger problem frankly with North Korea?” Mr. Trump said in reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mr. Trump said China sending back coal ships to North Korea last week is a positive step, “Nobody has ever seen such a positive response on our behalf from China.”

“I haven’t changed my stance. China is trying to help us,” said Mr. Trump, “but would I want to start heavy, heavy trade or currency manipulation statements against somebody that’s out there right now trying to stop what could be a very bad situation?”

The president declined to say whether the U.S. interfered with the North Korea’s failed missile test last week and wouldn’t say what his moves would be if the country tried another nuclear test.

“I don’t want to telegraph what I’m doing or what I’m thinking. I’m not like other administrations that say ‘we’re going to do this in four weeks.’ It doesn’t work that way,” Mr. Trump said.

In the wide-ranging interview, Mr. Trump also spoke about U.S. immigration.

He said he’s letting Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly take the lead on immigration.

“I’m letting him run it,” said Mr. Trump adding, “But I will tell you we’ve gotten tremendous criminals out of this country. They’re getting the hell out, or they’re going to prison.”

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