The Latest: Trump departs Switzerland after Davos address

Markus Schreiber
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The Latest on President Donald Trump’s attendance at the World Economic Forum (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump has departed Switzerland after addressing an annual economic summit in the Swiss Alps.

He is due back at the White House late Friday.

Trump in a speech Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos declared America open for business under his leadership. He also tried to assure the wary gathering that economic growth taking place in the U.S. under his “America first” agenda benefits the rest of the world.

Trump also held talks with the leaders of Britain, Israel, Switzerland and Rwanda during the summit, and had dinner with European business executives in the interest of encouraging them to invest in the U.S.

Next week, he delivers his first State of the Union address to the American public.


2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is airing his long-running critique of the news media at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Trump says during a question-and-answer session with the forum’s founder that it wasn’t until he became a politician that he realized “how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be.”

His comment prompted some boos and hisses in the room.

Trump was asked by the forum founder Klaus Schwab about how his past experiences prepared him for the presidency.

Trump says a businessman had never been elected president.

He says he was often “treated well” by the news media when he was a New York City developer but that treatment changed when he entered politics.


2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to negotiate trade deals individually or as a group with the countries that remain in a trans-Pacific trade deal that he pulled the U.S. out of after taking office.

Trump said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that trade needs to be fair and reciprocal. He says unfair trade “undermines us all.”

Trump says the U.S. is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements with all countries, including those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump directed his trade representative to withdraw from the sweeping pact that involved the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations last year.

Trump says he will negotiate “if it is in the interests of all” sides.


2:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is getting a muted response during his speech at the World Economic Forum.

Trump is making his debut appearance before the crowd in Davos on Friday. He drew some applause when he took the podium, but many in the audience kept their hands at their sides, reserving judgment.

As Trump showcased his economic agenda, the audience kept quiet, with no pockets of clapping that other leaders might receive. The president received polite applause when his speech ended.

When Forum chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Trump, he drew some hisses when he said that Trump’s leadership could be subject to “misconceptions and biased interpretations.”


2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is showcasing the American economy in his address in Davos, telling financial leaders, “America is the place to do business.”

Trump is using his speech to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to outline his work to overhaul the U.S. tax system and slash regulations.

He says his work is beginning to pay dividends. He’s pointing to 2.4 million jobs created since his 2016 election and noting that companies like Apple are planning to invest billions in the U.S.

Trump says he’s making progress on giving Americans the dream of a “great job, a safe home” and a “better life” for their children.


1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump plans to say in his Davos address, “America is open for business and we are competitive once again.”

The White House is releasing excerpts of Trump’s prepared remarks in advance of his speech to the World Economic Forum Friday.

Trump plans to say there “has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States.”

He will say that “when the United States grows, so does the world.”

Before a global audience, Trump will argue that “America First does not mean America alone.”

But he will pledge to “enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to the trading system” to “create a system that works not just for the United States but for all nations.”


12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Trump said Friday that his trip had been “exciting” and that he was bringing “good will” back to the United States. He is touting efforts to cut taxes and reduce regulations and says a booming U.S. economy is good for Switzerland.

Trump says, “You have a lot our stock in the United States so I have helped to make Switzerland even richer.”

Berset welcomed Trump, saying he appreciated his attendance at the meeting.

Trump is the first sitting president to attend the gathering in Davos since Bill Clinton in 2000.


11:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he “would certainly apologize” for retweeting anti-Muslim videos from a far-right British group.

Trump tells British journalist Piers Morgan that “I know nothing about” the Britain First group and “would certainly apologize, if you’d like me to do that.”

Trump was widely criticized – including by Morgan – for retweeting the videos last year. Morgan pressed Trump on the issue during an interview taped Thursday in Switzerland, where Trump is attending the World Economic Forum.

Morgan released an interview clip on Friday. The full interview is scheduled to air Sunday on ITV.

The president says he retweeted the videos because he is a “big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror.”

Trump also tells Morgan that he is “the least racist person anybody’s going to meet.”


11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says Rwandan President Paul Kagame (keh-GAH’-may) is a “friend” in the aftermath of Trump’s controversial comments about African countries.

The leaders met Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kagame is beginning a one-year term as head of the African Union, a 55-member continental body.

Trump recently drew widespread condemnation for allegedly referring to African nations as “shithole countries” in discussing immigration, according to those at the meeting. The president has denied using that language, but others present say he did.

Kagame says he and Trump had “good discussions” on economic and trade issues. He says the African Union is “looking forward to working with the United States.”


10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is bragging about the “tremendous crowd” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He says the gathering has a “crowd like they’ve never had before.” Trump is attending the forum for the first time.

The president spoke to reporters briefly as he arrived at the annual gathering of financial and political leaders.

Trump addresses the summit later Friday. He predicted his message will be “very well received” and that he will note that the U.S. is “doing fantastically well — better than we’ve done in decades.”

The president is also expected to tout recent tax cuts and efforts to slash regulations.


10:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a New York Times report that he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller is “fake news.”

The president was asked about the report on Friday as he arrived at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Trump replied: “Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories.”

The Times reported that Trump ordered the firing of Mueller last June but backed off after White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to quit.

The newspaper says Trump demanded Mueller’s firing just weeks after Mueller was first appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.


10 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is looking forward to declaring at the World Economic Forum that America open for business.

Trump addresses the summit on Friday and administration officials who previewed the speech for journalists said the president is expected to tout recent tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulations. Trump will argue that it’s a good time for businesses to invest in the United States.

Trump is a critic of multinational trade deals. But he’ll stress his commitment to free markets under what he sees as fair terms. He’ll also call for international cooperation to take on issues like the threat posed by the Islamic State group and North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Officials say the speech will project a vision of free nations cooperating on shared goals.

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