Trump and Macron dine atop Eiffel Tower

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PARIS (AP) Developments on Thursday, July 13, about President Donald Trump’s visit to Paris (all times Central European Summer Time).

  • 9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the two first ladies arrived at the Eiffel Tower for their dinner.

They’re scheduled to dine at the Jules Verne restaurant, accessible only by private elevator. This is the last event of the evening. The two leaders will participate in the French National Day Parade in celebration of Bastille Day the next day.

  • 9:30 p.m.

Trump said the U.S. needs “anywhere from 700 to 900 miles” of see-through wall along the Mexican border.

Trump told reporters during his flight to Paris that the U.S. won’t need a wall all along the roughly 2,000 mile border because of “natural barriers,” including mountains and rivers. The winding Rio Grande defines the border in most of Texas while the Colorado River marks the boundary along 24 miles in Arizona. Trump described the rivers as “violent and vicious” though in parts of Texas the river is little more than a trickle of water.

There’s already about 650 miles of fences and barriers at the border that Trump says need to be replaced or fixed.

He also said the fence needs to be see-through, in part to help avoid injuries from sacks of drugs being tossed over the barrier.

Trump Administration officials originally said Trump’s comments were off the record, but reversed course.

  • 7:30 p.m.

Macron said it remains important to maintain contact with Vladimir Putin, despite major differences with the Russian leader.

The response came after he and U.S. President Donald Trump were asked about Russian interference in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Macron said France and Russia do not have the same relationship as the one France shares with the United States. But he said France and Russia needed to continue direct communications. Macron recently hosted Putin in France.

But Macron underlined the closeness of U.S.-French ties, saying intelligence cooperation was strong and that the governments shared a common “red line” in Syria against chemical weapons attacks.

Macron said dinner with Trump later at the Eiffel Tower would be “a dinner among friends.”

  • 7:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump declined to repeat his criticism of Paris, which he frequently attributed to a friend named Jim.

The president said previously that Jim used to visit Paris frequently but doesn’t anymore because of the threat from Islamic terrorism. Trump often indicated he agreed with that assessment.

Trump was asked during a news conference in Paris with Macron whether he still shares those views.

Trump instead said that Paris “is going to be just fine” mostly because France now has “a great” and “tough” president. Trump then joked to Macron that Macron better not him look bad.

The White House has declined to provide Jim’s last name or offer proof that he exists.

  • 7:15 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump is addressing the controversy over his eldest son’s meeting with a Russian attorney during last year’s presidential campaign.

Trump said “most people would have taken that meeting,” contradicting his incoming FBI director’s testimony that Donald Trump Jr. should have instead alerted authorities.

The president reiterated that his son is a “wonderful young man.”

Trump is continuing to downplay the issue, saying that “nothing happened” as a result of the meeting.

The president said the Russian national involved wasn’t a government lawyer. However, the emails Donald Trump Jr. received pitched her as one.

Trump said the woman is a private attorney who has “roamed the hallways” of the U.S. Congress.

  • 7:10 p.m.

Trump is continuing to leave open the possibility that he’ll reconsider his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. But he said if it doesn’t happen, “that will be OK too.”

Trump said during a joint news conference with Macron in Paris that “something could happen with respect to the Paris accord.” Trump said “we’ll see what happens.”

Macron and other European leaders urged Trump to live up to the U.S.’s commitment under the global effort to combat climate change. But Trump broke with allies to leave the deal.

Macron acknowledged his differences with Trump over the issue. But Macron said the two countries share “major common goals” and that the disagreement shouldn’t have an impact on other areas.

  • 7:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump saluted the United States’ “unbreakable” bond with France.

Trump said the two nations have “occasional disagreements” but that doesn’t disrupt a friendship that dates to the American Revolution.

Trump said at a news conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron that a lot of people forget that France helped “us secure our independence.”

Trump also saluted France’s commitment to fighting terrorism and reducing bureaucracy, a goal he shares.

The American president also touched upon one of those areas of disagreement: climate change. Trump said the United State was committed to protecting the environment despite his recent decision to withdraw from a global agreement to combat climate change.

  • 6:55 p.m.

Macron, standing alongside U.S. President Donald Trump, said they have agreed to work toward a post-war roadmap for Syria and are largely in agreement in terms of security and stability in the Mideast.

Macron acknowledged sharp differences with Trump when it comes to the Paris climate agreement. But Macron said he and Trump were able to discuss how best to combat “a global threat with enemies who are trying to destabilize us.”

The two spent several hours together in some of Paris’ most opulent settings, with a visit at the golden-domed Invalides monument followed by a meeting at the presidential palace.

  • 3:00 p.m.

Trump honored American World War II veterans during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.

The president noted in a video clip posted to his Twitter account that the bonds between the U.S. and France were “forged in the fires of war.”

Trump was joined at the outdoor event by three American veterans of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944. The president called them “real heroes” who “fought for freedom in its hour of need.”

Trump is meeting later this afternoon with Macron and holding a joint news conference.

  • 11:00 a.m.

Reporters covering President Donald Trump’s trip to Paris got off to a rather chaotic start after a segment of his motorcade was separated from him.

The president arrived early in the morning and was whisked away from Paris Orly Airport to the U.S. ambassador’s residence in central Paris.

The streets were closed off to traffic while Trump’s motorcade drove past, but the cars on the tail end of his entourage took a wrong turn, drove into oncoming traffic and barely dodged a few pedestrians.

The traveling press corps was among the lost cars and was not able to document Trump’s arrival at the ambassador’s residence.

Trump Administration officials would not immediately respond to a request for confirmation that Trump had arrived, though journalists were eventually brought to the residence to wait for the president’s meetings to conclude.

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