President Donald Trump says he hopes to visit Ireland next year
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President Donald Trump says he hopes to visit Ireland next year

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has said he "may" visit Ireland in 2019, before he runs for re-election to the White House.

Mr Trump was speaking this afternoon as he met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for the first time in the Oval Office ahead of St Patrick's Day.

He said it was his "great honor to have the very popular prime minister of Ireland with us", explaining that their relationship is “outstanding and only getting better”.

The President added that he "loves" Ireland and alluded to his controversial Doonbeg golf course in Co. Clare, saying: "I love it, I have property there and I may never get to see it again".

He was asked if he would play golf in Ireland, before himself asking the Taoiseach if he plays golf.

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"No, but I'm always willing to learn so we can take you for a few rounds," Mr Varadkar replied.

The Irish PM also told Mr Trump he had previously visited the White House when he worked as a congressional intern in Washington DC.

Mr Trump was further asked about the question of the Irish border post-Brexit, replying that the situation was "very interesting".

"We have two interesting borders," he said, referring to the United States' boundaries with Mexico and Canada.

The two leaders spent approximately 40 minutes together as part of their first-ever bilateral meeting in the US capital.

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Other issues discussed included trade, the undocumented Irish, and the future role of Ireland as an ally of the US in Europe as Brexit looms.

Mr Trump noted that there are a “tremendous number” of Irish people living in his home city of New York.

The Taoiseach said he would be visiting NYC to attend its iconic St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, with Mr Trump laughing that he used to watch it "all the time" when he lived there.