Trump, Japanese leader arrive in Palm Beach for golf weekendPALM BEACH —
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked defense and trade in Washington, then arrived at Trump's winter White House at Mar-a-Lago on Friday in preparation for some golf course diplomacy.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump and Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, arrived at Palm Beach International Airport aboard Air Force One at about 5:40 p.m. The two couples waved to supporters on the tarmac, then shared a limousine for the short trip east along Southern Boulevard to Mar-a-Lago.
Also on the flight were the president's daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and their children.
At Mar-a-Lago, the Trumps and Abes were joined at dinner by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Trump and Abe are expected to golf at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter this morning. Abe is the grandson of former Japanese Prime Minister Nobosuke Kishe, who golfed with President Dwight Eisenhower in Bethesda, Md., in 1957.
LIVE UPDATES: Trump hosts Japanese PM in Palm Beach County
It's the second weekend in a row that Trump has left the White House for Mar-a-Lago, the historic landmark he bought in the 1980s and converted to a private club in the 1990s.
It will also be the second consecutive weekend that anti-Trump protesters plan to demonstrate against the president in Palm Beach County. Groups have announced three, including one outside Trump's Jupiter golf course this morning and another along Southern Boulevard Sunday night. Pro-Trump and anti-abortion protesters also plan to demonstrate against Planned Parenthood today in Boca Raton.
During Friday's Air Force One flight to West Palm Beach, Trump spoke to reporters and predicted success in his efforts to halt travel to the U.S. by refugees and people from seven largely Muslim nations. A federal judge shelved Trump's order last week and an appellate panel on Thursday rejected the Trump administration's request to reinstate the ban while the dispute over it moves through the courts.
"We will win that battle. The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily, but we will win that battle. We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order," said Trump, who said he will wait until next week to pursue a course of action.
Asked what revisions the White House could make to the existing executive order on immigration, Trump said: "New security measures. We have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting and we're going very strong on security. We are going to have people coming to our country that want to be here for good reason."
Earlier in the day in Washington, Trump greeted Abe with a hug at the White House and said he wants the U.S.-Japan alliance to be "even closer" — reassuring words after candidate Trump called on U.S. allies to pay more for their defense and once suggested that Japan and South Korea should develop their own nuclear weapons programs to deter North Korea.
Their Oval Office meeting came hours after Trump reaffirmed Washington's long-standing "one China" policy in a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Although Japan is a historic rival of China, Trump said that his long and "warm" conversation with Xi was good for Tokyo, too.
"I believe that will all work out very well for everybody, China, Japan, the United States and everybody in the region," Trump said at a joint news conference with Abe.
Abe, playing on Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, said at the news conference that he would welcome the U.S. becoming "even greater."Abe also invited Trump to visit Japan this year. Trump accepted, according to a joint statement.
Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was strongly supported by the Japanese government. At Friday's joint news conference, Abe stressed the importance of a "free and fair common set of rules" for trade among the world's most dynamic economies.
"That was the purpose of TPP. That importance has not changed," Abe said through an interpreter, though both leaders held out the possibility of a future bilateral, U.S.-Japanese deal.
Trump and Abe both seemed to be looking ahead to their Palm Beach visit during their Washington meetings.
After Trump and Abe sat in the Oval Office and shook hands for photos, Trump said "Strong hands" and motioned a golf swing as the media were escorted from the room.
During their joint news conference, Abe appeared to be lowering expectations before the golf outing.
"My score in golf is not up to the level of Donald at all, but my policy is, 'never up, never in,' always aiming for the cup," Abe said through a translator.
The news conference concluded with Trump saying "Let's go to Florida."
The Associated Press and the White House press pool contributed to this story.
At least four protests are planned for this weekend as President Trump visits the area:
Anti-Trump protest outside Trump National Jupiter Golf Club: From 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday outside the club's three entrances. Organized by Operation "Stand Up Speak Up Show Up."
Anti-Planned Parenthood/Pro-Trump protest: From 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday along Glades Road in Boca Raton outside the West Boca Place plaza, where Planned Parenthood is located. Organized by a group describing itself as composed of "Pro-Trumpers and Pro-Lifers."
Protest of Trump advisor: From 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of South Ocean Boulevard, near the home of Stephen Schwarzman, chair of Trump's economic policy forum. Then, on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach. Organized by The New Florida Majority.
Anti-Trump and anti-pipeline protest: Begins at 8 p.m. Sunday along Southern Boulevard between Flagler Drive and Palm Beach International Airport. Organized by Indivisible - The Resistance.
TRUMP IN PALM BEACH
Get the latest on President Trump's stay in Palm Beach at PalmBeachPost.com and by following Post political writer George Bennett @gbennettpost.