Trump, Spain's prime minister meet in Washington

Violet Powell
September 28, 2017

Trump on Tuesday repeatedly referred to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as the country's "president" as they stood next to each other in a joint White House press conference. The leader of Catalonia's separatist regional government, Carles Puigdemont, has been threatened by Spanish authorities with imprisonment for his role in the referendum.

Though Trump got a significant amount of backlash after the press conference, past statements on the White House website - such as this one from 2015 - have referred to Rajoy as the "Spanish President".

"I will keep hoping until the last minute that the Catalan government has a change of heart and calls off the referendum", Millo said at a briefing in Barcelona Tuesday.

'I can say only, speaking for myself, I would like to see Spain continue to be united, ' Trump said when asked about the referendum. He said the issue is causing division and heightening tensions in Spain.

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A committee will be formed to look into how to implement the new order, which is slated to come into effect in June 2018. The resolution was welcomed by the United States as a positive and historic step.

"I will negotiate with Democrats but from the Republican standpoint, we have the votes", Trump said. "I really think the people of Catalonia would stay with Spain".

During the press briefing, the pair also mentioned the recent Barcelona terror attacks which killed 13 and injured 130 people.

Trump had said earlier Tuesday that the US and Spain are allies in the fight against terrorism, saying they share notes and intelligence.

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