President Trump on Wednesday touted his administration’s "tremendous success" after returning to Washington from a 12-day, five-country foreign trip in Asia where talks with foreign leaders focused on trade and the nuclear threat from North Korea.
“America is back,” the president said in a speech from the Diplomatic Room of the White House. “And the future has never looked brighter.”
The president, who returned to Washington Tuesday evening, had promised a “major statement” from the White House. But the speech may be remembered most for Trump pausing, twice, to look for a bottle of water.
On social media, people were quick to point out how Trump previously mocked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in 2013 for once interrupting a major address to drink water.
The president stuck to the script during his speech, giving a review of the different stops on his Asia tour. He didn’t respond to shouted questions from a reporter about whether he thinks Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, embroiled in a scandal over accusations of sexual misconduct, should drop out of the race.
Trump argued, though, that his “historic” trip showed that America's "standing in the world has never been stronger."
He said he had three goals on the trip: uniting the world against a nuclear North Korea, strengthening America’s alliances and insisting on “fair and reciprocal trade.”
“These two words, fairness and reciprocity, are an open invitation to every country that seeks to do business with the United States, and they are a firm warning to every country that cheats, breaks the rules and engages in economic aggression, like they've been doing in the past, especially in the recent past,” Trump said.
Discussing his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said China also recognizes that “a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China and we would not accept a freeze for freeze agreement, like those that consistently failed in the past.”
“All options remain on the table“ Trump said.
On Saturday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s government responded to the president’s recent statements by accusing him of trying to demonize North Korea, keep it apart from the international community and undermine its government.
"Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance," the North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "On the contrary, all this makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force."
In a response, Trump tweeted from Vietnam on Sunday morning: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'"
Trump went on to say sarcastically, "Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!"
Aside from China and Vietnam, Trump visited South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.