Trump jokes he's gotten 'absolutely nothing' so far from Chinese president

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE joked that he has gotten "absolutely nothing" from Chinese President Xi Jinping so far at the start of their dinner Thursday night. 

"We had a long discussion already. So far, I have gotten nothing. Absolutely nothing," Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he is hosting Xi. "But we have developed a friendship. I can see that. I think, long-term, we are going to have a very, very great relationship and I look very much forward to it."

In the run up to Xi's visit – his first such trip to the U.S. since Trump took office in January – Trump said the meeting would be "very difficult" and prepared to press Xi on the trade deficit between the U.S. and China and on North Korea.

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly railed against China as a "currency manipulator" and assailed the country for not taking a stronger stance against North Korea's threats. He also frequently disparaged international trade deals, and vowed to reevaluate such agreements. 

The president signed two executive orders last week targeting U.S. trade deficits and foreign trade abuses.