Trump welcomes Colombia's president to the White House

19 May, 2017, 10:50 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Speaker Ryan People Are Trying to Harm the President...We Need the Facts

President Donald Trump and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Santos will argue that USA support remains vital as the country tries to reintegrate former guerrillas into civilian life and provide farmers with alternatives to producing coca, the raw material for making cocaine. But I can always speak for myself and the Russians, zero. "You can't let them get you down, you can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams".

However, President Juan Manuel Santos' coalition has a majority in Congress and the laws still look set to be approved.

It's a familiar strategy to deflect the conversation away from bad news. That was the White House's position initially after the deputy attorney general argued in a memo that Comey had erred in handling the FBI's investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server, even though Trump had praised Comey on the campaign trail past year.

Trump didn't mention the $450 million that former President Barack Obama promised the Colombian government. "This is the first time that this could be done because of the peace", Santos said, noting that previously the conflict had prevented building roads to the areas where coca is grown. The money is now in doubt as the Trump administration plans to slash foreign aid as part of 31 percent cut to the State Department's budget.

Colombia's Constitutional Court has struck down two provisions meant to speed approval of laws on the government's peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels, which will likely extend congressional debate on the accord. But Colombian officials acknowledge they do not know if that funding will continue next year.

Trump, on the other hand, was more interested in collaborating with Colombia to crack down on the illegal drug trade and address the mounting unrest in neighboring Venezuela.

Many in Washington may question whether US taxpayers have got value for money for the aid they've poured into the Andean nation. "This is not a problem of Colombia, or a problem of the United States".

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he is supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

Trump said: "I think it divides the country".

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