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Trump hails ties of kinship in ‘strong and resilient’ US-Irish friendship

Trump hails ties of kinship in ‘strong and resilient’ US-Irish friendship

"As you can imagine, with everything else going on at the moment, I've barely had time to think about that", Varadkar said, a reference to votes on Britain's exit from the European Union earlier that day.

President Donald Trump meets with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Washington.

"I also knew at the time that I lived in a country where, if I tried to be myself at the time, I would have ended up breaking laws", he said.

'I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly.

"I'd like to see that whole situation with Brexit work out", Trump added.

Just hours before Mr Varadkar's visit, Mr Trump tweeted that he looked forward to making a trade deal with the UK. "The potential is unlimited!" I can tell you it's a very complex thing that's going on now.

Mr Varadkar said: "I stand here this morning as leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions and not by my sexual orientation or my skin tone or my gender or religious beliefs".

His comments came on a crucial week for Brexit, as MPs first voted against Mrs May's amended deal, then rejected leaving the bloc with no deal before opting to request an extension to Article 50 on Thursday.

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On Thursday MPs voted 413 to 202 - a majority of 211 for Mrs May to ask the European Union for a delay to Brexit.

Nile Gardiner, a former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said Trump "has been very clear in his view that Brexit is great for America and for Britain".

Speaking about the contributions of Irish-Americans, Pelosi quoted Republican President Ronald Reagan as saying USA leadership would be lost "if we ever close the door to new Americans".

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar brought his partner, Matthew Barrett, with him to breakfast with Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.

The annual Shamrock Presentation between the Taoiseach and the President of the United States has taken place.

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Of his Irish grandfather, VP Pence said: "He was proud of being American but I can still hear that Irish brogue".

The Irish leader aims to use the meeting to reaffirm the historical ties between Ireland and the United States. "Everything does", he said.


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