US pushing for meeting with Irish prime minister at Trump's hotel: report

The White House is reportedly pushing for Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to come to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE’s golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland, for a meeting when the president visits the area next month.

An Irish government source with knowledge of ongoing discussions told CNN that the Trump administration is insisting on picking the location of the meeting.

"The Irish government feel that protocol dictates that any event they host for President Trump should be at a venue of their choosing and certainly not at an hotel owned by Trump," the source told CNN.

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"It is a bit unseemly to demand that the taoiseach host President Trump at his hotel," the source added, referring to the Irish prime minister.

Trump is expected to travel to Ireland for two nights during his June visit to Great Britain and France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World War II battle at Normandy.

Irish officials have reportedly offered a compromise — Varadkar will host Trump for dinner at nearby Dromoland Castle and then come to Trump’s Doonbeg hotel for breakfast.

Then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern hosted a dinner with former President George W. Bush at the castle in 2004, CNN noted.

The White House has reportedly refused that offer and threatened to have the president skip the visit and travel to one of his golf properties in Scotland instead.

"The standoff is ongoing with attempts to find a compromise," the source told CNN.

Trump is expected to arrive in Ireland on June 5 for his first visit since taking office. Trump’s original visit to Ireland scheduled for last November was canceled, though no reason was given.

Another Irish diplomatic source with knowledge of the planning told CNN that having Trump visit Ireland is "very delicate politically for Varadkar" because the U.S. leader is "incredibly unpopular" in the country.

"Leo is doing his best to minimize his exposure to Trump on this visit, but he is in a tricky position, as practically every American digital company's European headquarters are in Ireland," the source said.

Tech giants such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Apple have headquarters there, the source noted.

Protests are expected to greet Trump when he visits the Emerald Isle, but Varadkar said Thursday that protest is "allowed and is welcome."

"I’d say to them, this is a democracy and peaceful protest is part of democracy," Varadkar said when asked what he would say to citizens planning protests for Trump’s visit. "And I would certainly never criticize anyone for taking part in a protest if that’s the way they wish to express their views."

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.