Trumps’ royal welcome at the Palace
Donald and Melania Trump have attended a lavish dinner with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The US President and other NATO leaders are at a formal reception at the Queen's London residence, alongside Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who is flying solo while Prince William is on tour in the Middle East, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his opposition counterpart, Jeremy Corbyn.
Mrs Trump wore a yellow $9000 Valentino coat to keep out the British cold, while the president opted for a dark blue suit, white shirt and blue tie.
The stellar guest list also included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte.
Prior to the dinner, the Trumps' visited Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Clarence house for afternoon tea.
TRUMP 'DID NOT KNOW' PRINCE ANDREW
Earlier, Mr Trump was asked by reporters about his friendship with Prince Andrew but claimed he "did not know" the scandal-hot royal, despite the pair being pictured together.
The US president was asked about the Duke of York after more revelations about his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell and their underage sex slave ring.
"I don't know Prince Andrew, but that's a tough story, it's a very tough story, I don't know," Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump, US First Lady Melania Trump and Prince Andrew have been pictured together multiple times - before the president was in politics - with Maxwell and Epstein in New York.
He was also photographed with Prince Andrew as recently as June.
Trump: "I don't know the gentleman… I don’t know Prince Andrew, but it’s a tough story, a very tough story" pic.twitter.com/JzCrJqWwdM— Mark Di Stefano 🤙🏻 (@MarkDiStef) December 3, 2019
Mr Trump has denied in the past being close to Epstein, despite calling him a "terrific guy" in a 2002 interview, adding that "it is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
"I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I have spoken with him for 15 years. I was not a fan," he said earlier this year.
TRUMP NOT INTERESTED IN UK'S HEALTH SERVICE
Mr Trump also blasted into the UK general election campaign, praising prime minister Boris Johnson and promising British voters he is not interested in their National Health Service (NHS).
The US president is in London for the NATO summit tomorrow in Watford.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used Mr Trump as a regular punching bag in the election, claiming the Tories would "sell out" the NHS in any post-Brexit trade deal with the Trump Administration.
Mr Trump in London said he had no interest in the NHS and did not understand why he had become a target for the Labour campaign.
"I don't even know where that rumour came from … Even if you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it," the president said.
The rumour was started in June when Mr Trump, standing alongside then UK prime minister Theresa May, declared the NHS would be part of any future trade deal negotiations.
"When you're dealing in trade, everything is on the table," he said.
"So NHS or anything else: There are a lot more than that."
Tory HQ has been terrified that Mr Trump would intervene in the UK general election and gift Mr Corbyn with new material as election polls continue to tighten.
The US president intervened early on the election, when he declared Mr Corbyn would be "so bad" for Britain and saying Mr Johnson's EU exit deal could halt any trade talks with the US.
Mr Trump said that he had "no thoughts" on the British election and declared he could "work with anybody" when asked if Mr Corbyn would be a suitable PM.
But he could not resist the opportunity to praise both Mr Johnson and the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
"You know I was a fan of Brexit, I called it, the day before … I think Boris is very capable and I think he'll do a good job."
TRUMP RESURRECTS 'ROCKET MAN' NICKNAME
Mr Trump has said he still has confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but notes he "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?"
"That's why I call him Rocket Man," Mr Trump told reporters during a meeting with the head of NATO in London.
He said he hoped Kim would denuclearise, but added: "we'll find out."
North Korea fired two short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast last week in the latest test of its large multiple-rocket launcher.
It was seen as an effort to remind the US of a year-end deadline Kim has set for Washington to show flexibility in stalled denuclearisation talks.
North Korea earlier accused the US of trying to drag out denuclearisation talks ahead of the US presidential election next year.
Mr Trump said he was also pressing ahead with negotiations with allies South Korea and Japan to shoulder more of the cost of stationing US troops in those countries.
He said South Korea last year agreed to pay nearly $US500 million a year more for US "protection," and added the United States now wanted additional commitments.
Asked if it was in the US national security interest to have US forces stationed on the Korean peninsula, Mr Trump said: "It can be debated. I can go either way. I can make arguments both ways."
"But I do think this, I think if we're going to do it, they should burden-share more fairly," Mr Trump said.
TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES DISPUTE WITH FRENCH
It comes as Mr Trump acknowledged a "minor dispute" over a French digital service tax and US threats to slap new tariffs on French cheese, wine and other products.
Mr Trump said he thinks the two nations will be able to resolve the trade dispute, possibly through some "mutually beneficial tax."
He spoke on Tuesday to French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London.
The rapport between the two was respectful but appeared cooler than it has in the past and got even more tense when the subject of Islamic State (IS) fighters surfaced.
Mr Trump says many of the IS fighters who remain detained in the Middle East are from France, Germany and Britain.
Mr Trump asked Macron: "Would you like some nice IS fighters? I can give them to you." Mr Macron wasn't amused.
Mr Macron said he's looking at foreign fighters from France on a case-by-case basis and has taken back some fighters.
Several French IS suspects will be returned to France on December 9.
But he said the No. 1 problem is not foreign fighters, but in finishing the war against IS.
Mr Trump told Mr Macron his response was one of the "greatest non answers" he's ever heard.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump said he was happy to see NATO members increasing their defence spending but says even more needs to be done to share the financial burden of NATO.
Mr Macron said NATO must not only be concerned about money but needs to refocus itself on new threats facing the alliance.
Mr Trump said Mr Macron's recent comments that NATO is experiencing "brain death" is very insulting to the military alliance's other 28 members.
Mr Trump took aim at Macron with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by his side and called his comments "very nasty."
Mr Macron said the alliance was experiencing "brain death" in an interview with the Economist published last month, suggesting that the alliance was becoming obsolete.
"Nobody needs NATO more than France," Mr Trump said.