Trump faces new controversies as trip winds down






TAORMINA, Sicily >> President Donald Trump faced new controversies over his team’s possible ties to Russia as he closed out his first trip abroad Saturday, a grueling five-stop sprint that ended with the promise of an imminent decision on the much-discussed Paris climate accord.

Trump tweeted that he would make a final decision next week on whether to withdraw from the pact. European leaders have been pressuring Trump to stay in the accord during their meetings with him this week, arguing that America’s leadership on climate is crucial.

Following a second day of meetings at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily and remarks to U.S. troops stationed at a nearby air base, Trump was returning to Washington and a new crush of Russia-related controversies. On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. about setting up secret communications with Moscow.

Trump has held no news conferences during the nine-day trip, allowing him to avoid questions about the Russia investigations. His top economic and national security advisers refused to answer questions during a press briefing Saturday.

The White House had hoped to use Trump’s five-stop trip as a moment to reset. The president was warmly received on his opening stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, though he has come under more pressure in Europe, particularly over the Paris accord.

Trump was cajoled for three days —…

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