Foreign Pool Report #1: Oval Office POTUS-PM Vietnam Spray

From: Sara Cook
Date: May 31, 2017 at 3:51:45 PM EDT
Subject: Foreign Pool Report #1: Oval Office POTUS-PM Vietnam Spray

My co-pooler already sent out the major news, that we can expect a decision on Paris “very soon” and that he is “hearing from a lot of people both ways” on Paris.

Pool was brought into the Oval Office at 3:04 pm for a photo-op at the start of the bilateral with President Trump and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

When pool entered the Oval Office, POTUS and PM Phuc were seated in two yellow arm chairs in front of the fire place. POTUS was in a black suit with a red tie, PM Phuc in a navy suit with a red striped tie. As pool came in, both leaders were sitting and smiling, not speaking.

Reporters immediately shouted questions about whether the President had made a decision on Paris, to which the President answered “Very soon.” Another reporter asked if he was leaning towards getting out, to which POTUS answered “You’re gonna find out very soon.”

Wranglers began escorting pool out, but the President began speaking, saying he was honored to have the Prime Minister of Vietnam at the WH, that he has done a “spectacular job in Vietnam”. He said they are “going to be discussing trade, going to be discussing North Korea, we have many things to talk about, and we look forward to being together very much so.”

The two shook hands.

Prime Minister Phuc then spoke, thanking him for inviting him for an official visit to the United States.

Quotes as translated by the interpreter:

“Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for inviting me to pay this official visit to the White House. I bring with me the warmest greetings from the Vietnamese people to each and every American and greetings to you all, dear friends.”

“The relationship between Vietnam and the United States have undergone significant upheavals in history, but today we have been able to become comprehensive partners.”

“I had the great pleasure of having a phone conversation with the President last December and also an exchange of letters. I was very impressed by the openness and friendliness of the President and I’m confident that our meeting today will be equally candid and open, and will be fruitful to set out major direction for our enhanced Vietnam-US cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and equality in the interest of peace, stability, cooperation, [inaudible] in ASEAN, in the Asia-Pacific, and the world.”

“We very much look forward to welcoming you to Vietnam to attend the APEC Economic leaders meeting in Da Nang, as well as pay an official visit to Vietnam in November next year.

The two leaders shook hands a second time.

As press was being escorted out, more questions were shouted regarding Paris, to which the President responded he was hearing from a lot of people both ways.

I have reached out to the Vietnamese Embassy for a list of delegation members present for today’s meeting, and will get that out to the pool as soon as possible.


Sara Cook

Associate Producer

NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation

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