President Donald Trump heaped praise Monday on China President Xi Jinping, crediting him for tamping down escalating tensions with North Korea, the Washington Examiner reported.
"I like him and I believe he likes me a lot," Trump said at a White House reception for conservative media outlets, the Examiner reported.
Trump argued there'd been changes in the U.S.-China relationship since the days of his campaign attacks on Chinese currency manipulation — and Trump's new stance with China illustrates "the art of the deal."
"There has been no currency manipulation" since his election, Trump said. "Actually, their values have gone up, as opposed to down. We're only concerned with the down."
In addition, Trump said, Xi has "real power" in North Korea — and that he should be rewarded for helping lower escalating tensions with the United States, the Examiner reported.
"It's really tough. I spoke to him last night for an hour, it's really tough to be saying, 'Thanks, but, by the way you're a currency manipulator,'" Trump said, adding: "It's supposed to be the art of the deal, that's not the art of the deal."
The president declared it'd be be unreasonable to beat up on China at this point.
"How can I do it when they are helping us with a potentially horrific conflict?" Trump asked, the Examiner said.
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