- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2019

President Trump said Wednesday he didn’t stop in Ireland in between D-Day ceremonies to promote his Doonbeg golf club, saying he cherishes the American-Irish relationship and wanted to speak to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar about Brexit talks that affect the border with Northern Ireland.

“No, this trip is really about great relationships that we have with the U.K. And I really wanted to do this stop in Ireland, it was very important to me, because of the relationship I have with the people and your prime minister,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the VIP lounge in the Shannon Airport.

The leaders met in the odd setting after Mr. Varadkar reportedly declined to hold the summit at Mr. Trump’s club in County Clare.

Mr. Trump, who has cheered Britain’s push to leave the European Union, said he’s hopeful the Irish people can sort out any issues that arise if Ireland is forced to set up a so-called “hard” border with customs and immigration checks after Brexit occurs.

“The way it works now is good, you want to keep it that way,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m sure it’s going to work out well.”

“I don’t think the border is going to be a problem at all,” he added.

Mr. Trump said he has his own border problems back home, though Mr. Varadkar noted, in his case, that “one thing we want to avoid, of course, is a wall or border between us.”

The president also highlighted the large number of Irish people, or those of Irish descent, who live and work in the U.S.

“We do a lot of business together, a lot of trade business together, a lot of tourism together,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to stay overnight at the Doonbeg club before heading to France for additional D-Day ceremonies.

Earlier Wednesday, they took part in grand ceremonies in Portsmouth, England, marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion on Normandy.

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