Trump-Kim Vietnam summit: explosive Cohen allegations look set to overshadow meeting – live

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Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have arrived in Hanoi for meeting to discuss denuclearisation but claims from Cohen seem likely to dominate

11.21am GMT

Trump’s motorcade has arrived at the Metropole hotel

Motorcade arrives at Metropole #TrumpKimSummit

11.09am GMT

Trump, his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have left their hotel and are en route to the Metropole hotel where tonight’s first summit meeting will happen over dinner

.@POTUS @realDonaldTrump en route to the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. #HanoiSummit

10.45am GMT

Trump and Kim Jong-un are due to arrive at the Metropole hotel in around 15 minutes for their first meeting of the summit and the crowds and security are building up outside. For all the anticipation that had built up around the summit, it has ended up falling down the news agenda today in the wake of the escalating tension and skirmishes between India and Pakistan and the publication of the incendiary testimony Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, is due to give to a House committee later today- accusing Trump of being conman, a racist and a cheat

Still, in Hanoi at least, the summit remains the main attraction:

9.51am GMT

Trump has now tweeted to deny media reports that, going in to the summit, his negotiating position is less than strong and he is preparing to make concessions to North Korea in exchange for only vague promises of nuclear disarmament

All false reporting (guessing) on my intentions with respect to North Korea. Kim Jong Un and I will try very hard to work something out on Denuclearization & then making North Korea an Economic Powerhouse. I believe that China, Russia, Japan & South Korea will be very helpful!

9.12am GMT

And here it is: Trump has dived into the Cohen allegations on twitter, accusing his former lawyer of lying and fraud (and also referring to himself in the third person)

Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!

8.26am GMT

More details have emerged about the dinner at the Metropole Hotel tonight, which will be the first official meeting of the summit.

Trump will bring secretary of state Mike Pompeo and his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as his two guests.

8.12am GMT

As expected, Trump is using his four hours of “executive time” to take to Twitter. No direct response yet on the explosive Cohen testimony which has been published ahead of his appearance before the House committee later today. Instead, continuing a personal vendetta, the president yet again ripped into the wartime record of democratic senator Richard Blumenthal- referring to him using the derogatory nickname Trump gave him last year- who was a Marine Corps reservist during the Vietnam War

However, it could be an attempted distraction from Cohen’s testimony, where Trump’s former lawyer said that Trump had faked his injury to get out of serving in Vietnam

I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud – he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!

8.02am GMT

Trump may have declared himself “in love” with Kim Jong-un but it appears their opposing food tastes are causing friction already. According to sources who spoke to CNN, White House officials keep intervening with this evening’s dinner menu to keep it “super simple” to suit Trump’s palette (his favourite food famously being a McDonalds Big Mac)

Dinner drama: A source close to the planning of tonight’s Kim-Trump dinner tells CNN that as of a few hours ago the chefs were struggling to get a menu approved because officials from both countries —especially the White House — kept adjusting the menu to make it “super simple”

7.56am GMT

A statement released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has provided a summary of the meaty issues discussed during Trump’s meetings earlier today with Vietnam’s President Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. They included the strengthening of the economic and strategic ties between the two countries and Vietnam’s agreement to buy over $21bn worth of US-built airplanes and jet engines:

7.44am GMT

That’s it from me, I’m handing over to my colleague Hannah Ellis-Petersen.

7.40am GMT

7.28am GMT

Related: Vietnam deports Kim Jong-un lookalike before summit, but not Trump imitator

7.22am GMT

Japan shares South Korea’s unease about any weakening of the US military presence in the region, despite assurances from Washington that Trump has no plans to use troop reductions as a bargaining chip in his talks with Kim.

7.10am GMT

We have an update from the pool reporter travelling with Trump’s team.

The motorcade arrived back at the hotel at 1:35pm local time after an uneventful ride through the streets of Hanoi.

We have a lunch lid until 3pm Hanoi time.

7.02am GMT

Donald Trump has said that when he meets Kim Jong-un in Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel on Wednesday evening, the potential for a deal is “awesome”.

Related: Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam: what is on the table?

6.48am GMT

South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has been instrumental in laying the foundations for denuclearisation talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, with whom he has held three summits since last April. But any deal struck in Hanoi this week comes with risks for Seoul.

6.36am GMT

Beijing appeared coolly supportive of the second summit. On Tuesday, Chinese foreign spokesperson Lu Kang said his country “was pleased to see that the situation is developing in the direction that China has advocated”, adding a note of skepticism about the outcome.

6.35am GMT

While we wait for a response from Donald Trump to the explosive allegations from Michael Cohen, let’s return to the actual subject of the summit. Our correspondents have assessments of how South Korea, Japan and China are feeling about today’s discussions between the US and North Korea.

6.29am GMT

Jonathan Lemire, the White House reporter for AP, reports that Trump has left after his with Vietnamese officials and is now heading back to his hotel, where he has four hours free before dinner with Kim Jong-un.

View from Trump motorcade as president departs meetings with Vietnamese officials.

He now has four-plus hours of unscheduled time – during which he could catch up on Cohen coverage – before dinner with Kim Jong Un

6.23am GMT

Michael Cohen is to accuse Donald Trump of being a “conman” and a “cheat” who had advanced knowledge that a longtime adviser was communicating with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, according to opening testimony he will deliver to Congress on Wednesday.

Cohen’s prepared remarks, confirmed by the Guardian, include a series of explosive allegations about the presidential campaign.

Related: Michael Cohen to call Donald Trump a ‘racist’, ‘conman’ and ‘cheat’ in first public hearing

6.04am GMT

And, if you’re interested, here’s what Trump and Nguyen Xuan Phuc the Vietnamese prime minister are eating for lunch.

At least Trump is getting a good feed before he has to head out to face questions.

Menu for @POTUS working lunch now underway with prime minister of #Vietnam.

6.00am GMT

According to the daily schedule, right now, Trump is in an “expanded working lunch” with the prime minister of Vietnam. That is due to continue for another 40 minutes or so. We may have to wait until after the conclusion of this lunch for a reaction from Trump to this Cohen news.

After the lunch, Trump has nothing in his schedule for four hours. He is then due to head to the Metropole Hotel for a photo op, dinner and talks with Kim Jong-un.

5.53am GMT

This feels like a good moment to resurface this post from earlier.

Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr accused Democrats of trying to distract his father during his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

5.44am GMT

Michael Cohen has made extraordinary allegations against President Trump in a statement published by the New York Times, that he is set to deliver to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. These allegations could well derail the discussions in Hanoi.

In the statement, Cohen says of Trump: “He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat.”

5.15am GMT

An extraordinary moment in Michael Cohen’s planned testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to be held on Wednesday.

His statement, which has been published, contains Cohen’s version of his conversation with the president about handling bad press around Trump’s deferment of military service in Vietnam. The statement says:

Michael Cohen on Trump deferring his Vietnam service.


5.04am GMT

Earlier today, Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr accused Democrats of trying to distract his father during his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

Trump Jr told Fox News on Tuesday that he believed the Democrats deliberately scheduled the congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, the president’s former fixer, opposite the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

4.57am GMT

Here are Trump’s remarks at the beginning of the bilateral meeting with Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong. This is courtesy of the pool reporter attending the event, who cautioned that the microphones weren’t great and so this is her best record of his comments:

The US like your country is doing very, very well. Our economy is probably as good as it has ever been, maybe the best it’s been. Unemployment and all the figures you would look at are at historically positive numbers and so I just see what you’ve done and I’m very proud of what you’ve done.

And I’m very proud to have left here last year, we had a very good meeting. We had a meeting with a lot of representatives some from Boeing and some others. We are going to be signing some very big trade deals, buying a lot of different products from the United States, l which we appreciate.

4.40am GMT

President Donald Trump is calling the relationship between the US and Vietnam an “example” of what can become of North Korea if it gives up its nuclear weapons.

4.31am GMT

In case you missed it, there was a rather extraordinary story this morning about Dutch customs officials seizing 90,000 bottles of vodka believed to be destined for the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and his army chiefs.

Related: US negotiating position in disarray ahead of summit with North Korea

4.21am GMT

And what has Kim Jong-un been up to since he arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday?

Yesterday he was photographed visiting the North Korean embassy in Hanoi. As well as holding meetings, Kim took the time to pose for a photo with embassy staff in front of a truly extraordinary painting.

After giving the embassy a warm pep talk, wishing them all well with their important work as well as success and health in the future, Comrade Kim Jong Un had a photo session with them.

4.10am GMT

And here the two presidents are posing for photographs.

JUST IN: Trump has arrived at Vietnam’s presidential palace where he is meeting with his counterpart. “Thank you,” says Trump, and gives a thumbs up.

4.06am GMT

Trump has met with Nguyen Phu Trong, the Vietnamese president and head of the Communist Party.

President Trump meets Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnamese President and head of Communist Party

A bust of Ho Chi Minh provides the backdrop

4.02am GMT

This summit is running over two days, with Trump and Kim meeting tonight for dinner and discussions. That meeting will take place at 6:30pm local time (10:30pm Sydney time, 11:30am London time, 6:30am New York time). They will meet again for further discussions tomorrow.

Before then, Trump will participate in various events including an expanded bilateral meeting with the General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and a signing ceremony for commercial trade agreements with Vietnam.

3.45am GMT

Here are the president’s tweets since he landed in Vietnam 12 hours ago. In them, Trump has praised Vietnam and thanked its people for the “great reception” he has received, as well as suggesting North Korea could thrive in the same way as Vietnam “if it would denuclearize”, writing North Korea’s “potential is AWESOME”.

Just arrived in Vietnam. Thank you to all of the people for the great reception in Hanoi. Tremendous crowds, and so much love!

Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!

The Democrats should stop talking about what I should do with North Korea and ask themselves instead why they didn’t do “it” during eight years of the Obama Administration?

3.30am GMT

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the second summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean chairman Kim Jong-un. The summit, which will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam over the next two days, follows the pair’s historic meeting in Singapore in June last year.

Donald Trump hailed the first summit as a great success, repeatedly saying that his discussions with Kim had averted a war between the two countries. Trump has also claimed that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the North Korean leader.

Related: US negotiating position in disarray ahead of summit with North Korea

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Source: north-korea
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