White House says Trump discussed 'key issues' with Putin, Macron and Merkel during Paris visit

White House says Trump discussed 'key issues' with Putin, Macron and Merkel during Paris visit
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE discussed "key issues" with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others during a Sunday luncheon in Paris, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"The leaders discussed a variety of issues, including the INF (nuclear treaty), Syria, trade, the situation in Saudi Arabia, sanctions, Afghanistan, China, and North Korea," Sanders said in a statement. "They had very good and productive discussions during the two-hour lunch."


Sanders's statement contradicts claims from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who told Russian news agency Interfax that Trump and Putin did not discuss the nuclear treaty. The U.S. has said it intends to withdraw from the Cold War-era agreement, despite protestations from European allies.

Trump and Putin are expected to hold more extensive talks during the Group of 20 Summit in Argentina later this month.

The president spent the weekend in France with other world leaders to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I. The visit was largely marked by controversy and underlying tensions between Trump and longtime European allies.

Trump on Friday lashed out at Macron over comments, which were largely taken out of context, related to building up European cybersecurity defenses. The president drew criticism for canceling a visit to a cemetery in Northern France where American troops are buried due to weather and travel concerns and he was absent as world leaders walked side-by-side to mark the official centennial of the end of the war.

Macron on Sunday offered a stinging rebuke of "nationalism," a term Trump and other world leaders have embraced, calling it a "betrayal of patriotism."

Trump on Monday said he told world leaders that the United States "must be treated fairly" on trade and military funding.

"Just returned from France where much was accomplished in my meetings with World Leaders. Never easy bringing up the fact that the U.S. must be treated fairly, which it hasn’t, on both Military and Trade," he wrote in a tweet.