President Donald Trump corned TV news this morning, and late-night monologues tonight, when he effusively welcomed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who predecessor Barack Obama would not invite to the White House.
Calling him someone who has been “very close to me from the first time I met him,” Trump noted he met el-Sissi while campaigning, adding, “hopefully, you will like me a lot more.”
To which el-Sisi replied, “Since we met last September, I have had a deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality.”
Trump, who judges success of White House visits in terms of minutes, boasted this first greeting upon arrival was supposed to be a “quick meeting” but wound up lasting much longer. Trump said similar when he came to White House as POTUS-elect to meet with President Barack Obama.
While Obama’s administration had criticized the Egyptian ruler’s human rights record, Trump today beamed to el-Sisi, “We agree on so many things.” Addressing reporters in the room, Trump said, “I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind president el-Sisi. He has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt, and the people of Egypt.”
The United States, Trump continued, is building its military to levels that will be probably the highest we ever had… probably more than ever before, or certainly almost more than ever before.”
“I just wanted to say to you, Mr. President, you have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me,” Trump said.