Change of plans
President Trump apparently prefers golf courses to castles.
While it hasn't been publicly announced, Trump has considered stopping in Ireland between his June visits to Britain and France and meeting with its Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Yet the prime minister has so far refused to meet at Trump's requested golf course venue, and it has led Trump to consider skipping the visit altogether, The Irish Times reports.
When discussions first started between the U.S. and Irish governments, Varadkar said he'd like to meet Trump in the western County Clare's Dromoland Castle, sources in Dublin tell The Irish Times. But Trump apparently noticed that's just a short drive away from his Doonbeg golf club, and requested that the two leaders meet there. The Irish government has still pressed for the original hotel location, leading Trump to consider bowing out of the meeting and heading to Scotland instead, a White House source says.
Varadkar has publicly disagreed with Trump on a number of issues, and recently struggled to find any overlap in their policy preferences. Varadkar also affirmed Thursday that during the yet-unscheduled visit, protests would be "allowed" and "welcome" because "peaceful protest is part of democracy," per The Irish Times. The manager of Dromoland Castle, now a hotel, says the U.S. and Irish governments have checked out the space for a possible visit, but oddly hadn't booked anything for a trip presumably just a month away.