US President Donald Trump met British Prime Minister Theresa May here in his first meeting with a visiting foreign leader since taking office.
Trump was meeting May in a session fraught with tension as the new US President contemplates lifting sanctions against Russia despite the objections of many Europeans wary of Moscow, The New York Times reported on Friday.
The meeting at the White House would test the contours of his new “America First” foreign policy.
The meeting came just a day after Mexico’s president canceled his plans to sit down with Trump amid a dispute over his proposed border wall, .
Russia presumably will be a major part of the discussion White House between Trump and May.
Trump has scheduled a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin for Saturday as administration officials debate how far the American should go in easing up pressure on the Kremlin.
The US president also plans to talk by phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has been a leading voice in Europe for keeping pressure on Russia.
Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor, said Trump was considering lifting sanctions against Russia.
“All of that is under consideration,” she said on “Fox and Friends” on Friday. “And if another nation that has considerable resources wishes to join together with the US to try to defeat and eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, we’re listening.”
The US and Europe have imposed a series of sanctions on Russian officials and companies, mainly in response to the seizure and annexation of Crimea and the separatist war fomented in eastern Ukraine.
Before leaving office, former US President Barack Obama also imposed additional sanctions in response to what intelligence agencies concluded was Russian hacking to influence the American election.