Trump to hold first news conference as president

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President Donald Trump speaks as Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks on during the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congressional Republicans are gathering for three days to plan their 2017 legislative agenda. (Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will hold his first news conference as commander-in-chief Friday, joining British Prime Minister Theresa May for a Q&A with the press at the White House.

Joint news conferences with a foreign leader are typically part of the schedule when a foreign leader visits, though it is unclear how many questions Trump will take on Friday.

Trump will field questions at a time when his foreign policy vision and tone is being heavily scrutinized, particularly after a high-profile fight with Mexico on Thursday that resulted in the Mexican president canceling his planned visit to the White House.

Trump and May, who took office in July, both have strong political incentives to make the visit — likely to be heavier on symbolism and aspiration than deliverables — a roaring success.

The prime minister is telling Britons their country will be a robust global trading power once it has exited the European Union, and a free-trade pact with the U.S. is the most important pillar of that plan. Trump also has an interest in talking up a trade deal. The envisioned agreement with Britain is exactly the kind of bilateral pact that the Trump administration says is the model for U.S. trade policy going forward.


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