Trump: ‘Something could happen’ on Paris agreement

(From left) U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a press conference following meetings at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

(From left) U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a press conference following meetings at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that “something could happen with respect to the Paris accord” as he discusses the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Yeah, I mean, something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Macron in Paris. “But we will talk about that over the coming period of time. And if it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn’t, that will be OK, too. But we’ll see what happens.”

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Trump, whose announcement that he intended to withdraw the United States from the global climate agreement prompted the rebuke of Macron and other world leaders, did not elaborate on whether he meant he is willing to change his own position or whether he expects Macron to budge.

European leaders have signaled that they are not willing to renegotiate the pact, to which more than 190 countries have agreed since 2015.

Macron responded to Trump’s announcement about abandoning the agreement by delivering a speech in English in which he proposed that the world “make our planet great again.” He also invited American scientists to move to France.

Trump said he and Macron “briefly hit on the Paris accord” in their conversations so far on Thursday. Trump is in Paris at Macron’s invitation ahead of the Bastille Day national holiday on Friday.

“We have a very good relationship, a good friendship, and we look forward to dinner tonight at the Eiffel Tower,” Trump said. “That will be something special.”

http://www.politico.com

Trump in Paris defends son’s meeting with Russian lawyer

President Trump on Thursday again defended the decision by his eldest son, Donald Jr., to hold a meeting with a Russian lawyer to seek derogatory information about Hillary Clinton during last year’s presidential campaign, saying that “most people would have taken that meeting.”

On Wednesday, Trump’s nominee to head the FBI, Christopher Wray, said during his confirmation hearing that a person offered information from a foreign entity about a political opponent should call the FBI. Asked about that, Trump praised Wray but insisted his son had done nothing wrong.

Obtaining what he referred to as “opposition research” is “very standard in politics,” Trump said.

Speaking at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Trump insisted that “nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened.”

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Trump: ‘Most people’ would have taken Russian lawyer meeting

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a press conference following meetings at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

(From left) U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a press conference following meetings at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Updated

President Donald Trump defended his son and dismissed Donald Trump Jr.’s controversial meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer last year, arguing Thursday that “most people” would have gone too.

“I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting,” Trump told reporters during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris. “It’s called opposition research or even research into your opponent.”

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Trump Jr. has said he went to the meeting because he was told the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, would have information that could harm then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

But the president, echoing his administration’s top aides, downplayed the significance of his son’s meeting with a person from Russia, which the U.S. intelligence community has said meddled in the 2016 campaign to boost Trump over Clinton.

“It was a meeting that went very, very quickly. Very fast,” Trump said. “Two other people were in the room. I guess one of them left almost immediately and the other one was not really focused on the meeting.”

“I have only been in politics for two years, but I’ve had many people call up: ‘Oh, gee, we have information on this factor or this person or, frankly, Hillary,’” Trump said. “That’s very standard in politics. Politics is not the nicest business in the world. But it’s very standard where they have information and you take the information.”

Trump also called his son “a wonderful young man” and disputed the characterization that Veselnitskaya — who met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort — was a Russian government lawyer.

“He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer,” Trump said. “Not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer.”

According to an email exchange Trump Jr. released Tuesday, however, an intermediary, the publicist Robert Goldstone, reached out to him last June to set up a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who had information on Clinton.

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone said. Trump Jr. responded, in part, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

http://www.politico.com

Ryan moves to ‘modernize’ dress code of Speaker’s lobby

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is pictured. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has faced an onslaught of attacks in fashion publications and on social media, with critics suggesting the rules reek of sexism and blaming him personally. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaker Paul Ryan has asked a top House chamber official to “modernize” the Speaker’s Lobby dress code after being pummeled in the media for a long-held rule that women must cover their shoulders in a hallway outside the House floor.

The Wisconsin Republican in a news conference Thursday said he has asked the House sergeant-at-arms to revisit and “update” business dress requirements that bar women from wearing sleeveless and open-toed shoes. The dress code also requires men to wear jackets and a tie, though that requirement has largely escaped recent criticism.

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“Decorum is important, especially for this institution, and a dress code in the chamber and in the lobby makes sense,” Ryan said. “But we also don’t need to bar otherwise accepted contemporary business attire, so look for a change on that soon.”

Ryan has faced an onslaught of attacks in fashion publications and on social media, with critics suggesting the rules reek of sexism and blaming him personally. The rules for women and men, however, have been in place and enforced for decades, including under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Ryan clarified that he had nothing to do with the creation of the rules, though as speaker, he can ask House officers to change them.

“The sergeant-at-arms was simply enforcing the same interpretation of the rules as under my predecessors,” Ryan said. “This is nothing new and it’s certainly not something that I devised.”

He added: “But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that enforcement couldn’t stand to be a bit modernized. So that is why we will be working with the sergeant-at-arms to ensure the enforcement of appropriate business attire is updated.”

The change to the dress code, which is enforced on members and reporters alike, comes just as some female Democratic lawmakers had also quietly been discussing a protest against the rules.

But even some Republican women have started pushing back on the rules, creating an even greater headache for Ryan. On Wednesday, Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, took to the floor to purposefully flout the dress code — and she made sure lawmakers knew it.

“Before I yield back, I want to point out I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,” she quipped.

http://www.politico.com

Jimmy Carter hospitalized after collapsing while working on Habitat for Humanity house

Former President Jimmy Carter was reportedly hospitalized after he collapsed on Thursday while working on a Habitat for Humanity home in Winnipeg, Canada.

A spokesperson for the organization told CBC News that Carter, 92, was hospitalized as a precaution and is feeling fine after being treated for dehydration. 

“He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and keep building,” the spokesperson said.

According to NBC News, Carter is being treated at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. His wife, Rosalynn Carter is at his bedside.

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Carter had led a prayer session Thursday morning at the construction site, which is part of a “blitz” of new homes in Canada from his favorite charity.

Former President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara Bush sent Carter their well-wishes Thursday afternoon.

“God bless him, and we hope he is fine,” the former president and first lady said.

In May, the former commander in chief wrote an op-ed praising President Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on softwood lumber imports from Canada. 

“While there are many benefits to [a] harmonious bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada, our neighbor to the north must still play by the rules and stop engaging in unfair trade practices,” he wrote.

http://thehill.com