President Donald Trump on Thursday gave a noticeably brief response to a reporter's question about building a wall on the Mexican border, and seemed to knock Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for giving a "long and very diplomatic answer" to the same question.
Trump also faced repeated questions from reporters about the recent appointment of a special prosecutor to look into his administration's alleged ties with Russian Federation and his controversial firing of James Comey, the FBI director who was leading an investigation into those ties.
After a week of rough headlines, President Trump faced the press during a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
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"Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt", Trump said. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
President Santos will seek to renew the $450 million dollars in foreign aid promised by the US government in support of the peace deal between FARC and the government of Colombia.
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The White House has denied any improper conduct. "But I think most people would say that, alone, would fall short of a crime". John McCain, a senior Republican senator, compared the unfolding crisis with the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.
Some conservatives, here and in Colombia, oppose the peace treaty because they contend that it makes too many concessions to the former guerrillas and allows them to return to civilian life, unpunished.
A Colombian referendum on the agreement failed to win the support of the majority of Colombians, but Santos pushed a revised version through the Colombian Congress anyway. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. "Last year, Colombia coca cultivation and cocaine production reached a record high, which, hopefully, will be remedied very quickly by the president [Santos]", said Trump.
Amid indications that Colombia is cultivating more coca and producing more cocaine than ever, the country has been under enormous worldwide pressure to tackle the problem, especially from its key global ally, the United States. But U.S. support - since 2000, $10 billion under Plan Colombia - has also been critical. "This is the first time that this could be done because of the peace", said Santos.
Yesterday, Trump did take a stance on specific eradication tactics outside of offering a blanket statement of support.
Mr. Pinzon dismissed the suggestion that the former presidents had influence with the Trump administration.
"He's going to have to explain the coca problem to a lot of skeptical members of Congress", said Adam Isacson, a Colombia expert at the Washington Office on Latin America. In exchange, they will receive technical support and monthly stipends of about $350 over the next year. "Zero", Trump said during the press conference.
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