‘You’re my friend’, Trump says to PM Lee during US-SG working lunch at the Istana

Photo: @scavino45 / Twitter

Following a sit-down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong held a private meeting with US President Donald Trump this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s big summit.

Earlier this morning, the tweeter-in-chief expressed his elation about being in Singapore and feeling “excitement in the air.” Other than the usual heat and humidity, that is — the man did look like he couldn’t wait to get into his transport after alighting from Air Force One last night.

The US delegation left for the Istana from the Shangri-La Hotel at about 11:45am, accompanied by a motorcade consisting of more than 30 vehicles, according to The Straits Times. Alongside Trump were other big administration figures including secretary of state Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly, national security adviser John Bolton and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump’s North Korean counterpart had also attended a meeting with PM Lee at the Istana yesterday for a half-hour session. They discussed Singapore-North Korea relations and developments on the Korean peninsula amidst Kim thanking the Singaporean premier for hosting the summit.

The US President is reportedly spending a bit more time with PM Lee today — two hours of talks and a working lunch together with government officials from respective countries, according to Channel NewsAsia.

Trump also reaffirmed the tight US-Singapore relations by reassuring PM Lee that he was “his friend.”

“We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely,” Trump said as he began the working lunch. “We appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship. Thank you very much.”

Presumably, they have a lot to catch up on since they last met in October last year, when PM Lee visited Trump at the White House to discuss bilateral relations between both their countries. Now is as probably good time as ever to remind you that the US president is a yuge fan of Singapore’s death penalty for drug traffickers.

Following the working lunch, Trump is expected at the US embassy for a meet and greet session. Tomorrow, it’s off to Capella Hotel in Sentosa for the historic meeting with Kim at 9am.

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