The Latest: Trumps, Macrons dine high above Paris

PARIS (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Paris (all times local):

11:51 p.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump enjoyed a private dinner high above Paris Thursday evening as they ended their first day in France.

The Trumps, French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and his wife, Brigitte, dined at the Eiffel Tower's Jules Verne restaurant on a meal prepared by Alain Ducasse.

The dinner began with a selection of pâté and included Dover sole served with spinach and Hollandaise and filet of beef, souffléd potatoes and truffle sauce.

Guests were also offered a strawberry dessert with sorbet and a hot chocolate soufflé with chocolate ice cream.

The meal capped off a day that included a tour of one of Paris's most famous sights, meetings and a joint press conference.


9:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling his Paris visit "very nice."

He is making the remark in response to a reporter's question about the trip, as he sits down to dinner near the top of the Eiffel Tower. Trump and first lady Melania Trump are seated with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and his wife at a table near a window.


9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and the two first ladies have arrived at the Eiffel Tower for their dinner.

They'll dine at the Jules Verne restaurant, accessible only by private elevator. This is the last event of the evening. On Friday, the two leaders will participate in the French National Day Parade in celebration of Bastille Day.


9:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. needs "anywhere from 700 to 900 miles" of see-through wall along the Mexican border.

Trump told reporters during his flight to Paris that the U.S. won't need a wall all along the roughly 2,000 mile border because of "natural barriers," including mountains and rivers. The winding Rio Grande defines the border in most of Texas while the Colorado River marks the boundary along 24 miles in Arizona. Trump describes the rivers as "violent and vicious" though in parts of Texas the river is little more than a trickle of water.

There's already about 650 miles of fences and barriers at the border that Trump says need to be replaced or fixed.

He also says the fence needs to be see-through, in part to help avoid injuries from sacks of drugs being tossed over the barrier.

The White House had originally said Trump's comments were off the record, but reversed course Thursday.


8:01 p.m.

The Eiffel Tower's Jules Verne restaurant, where French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife will host President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, is accessible only by private elevator and is 120 meters above ground.

Macron said during a joint press conference Thursday that the meal would be a "dinner among friends."

The restaurant by famed chef Alain Ducasse offers traditional French food and an all-French wine list. At 115 meters (378 feet) high on the tower's middle deck, the windowed restaurant offers panoramic views of Paris.

The tower closed early Thursday afternoon ahead of the presidential visit.

The French presidency has not provided the dinner menu, but blue lobster and caviar are among the standard fare.


7:30 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') says it remains important to maintain contact with Vladimir Putin, despite major differences with the Russian leader.

The response came after he and U.S. President Donald Trump were asked about Russian interference in last year's U.S. presidential election.

Macron says France and Russia do not have the same relationship as the one France shares with the United States. But he says France and Russia needed to continue direct communications. Macron recently hosted Putin in France.

But Macron underlined the closeness of U.S.-French ties, saying intelligence cooperation was strong and that the governments shared a common "red line" in Syria against chemical weapons attacks.

Macron says dinner with Trump later Thursday at the Eiffel Tower would be "a dinner among friends."


7:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is declining to repeat his criticism of Paris, which he frequently attributed to a friend named Jim.

The president has said previously that Jim used to visit Paris frequently but doesn't anymore because of the threat from Islamic terrorism. Trump often indicated he agreed with that assessment.

Trump was asked during a news conference Thursday in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') whether he still shares those views.

Trump instead said that Paris "is going to be just fine" mostly because France now has "a great" and "tough" president. Trump then joked to Macron that Macron better not him look bad.

The White House has declined to provide Jim's last name or offer proof that he exists.


7:15 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump is addressing the controversy over his eldest son's meeting with a Russian attorney during last year's presidential campaign.

Trump says "most people would have taken that meeting," contradicting his incoming FBI director's testimony that Donald Trump Jr. should have instead alerted authorities.

The president is reiterating that his son is a "wonderful young man."

Trump is continuing to downplay the issue, saying that "nothing happened" as a result of the meeting.

The president says the Russian national involved wasn't a government lawyer. However, the emails Donald Trump Jr. received pitched her as one.

Trump says the woman is a private attorney who has "roamed the hallways" of the U.S. Congress.


7:10 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump is continuing to leave open the possibility that he'll reconsider his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. But he says if it doesn't happen, "that will be OK too."

Trump says during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') in Paris that "something could happen with respect to the Paris accord." Trump says "we'll see what happens."

Macron and other European leaders had urged Trump to live up to the U.S.'s commitment under the global effort to combat climate change. But Trump broke with allies to leave the deal.

Macron is acknowledging his differences with Trump over the issue. But Macron says the two countries share "major common goals" and that the disagreement shouldn't have an impact on other areas.


7:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is saluting the United States' "unbreakable" bond with France.

Trump says the two nations have "occasional disagreements" but that doesn't disrupt a friendship that dates to the American Revolution.

Trump says at a news conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron that a lot of people forget that France helped "us secure our independence."

Trump also saluted France's commitment to fighting terrorism and reducing bureaucracy, a goal he shares.

The American president also touched upon one of those areas of disagreement: climate change. Trump says the United State was committed to protecting the environment despite his recent decision to withdraw from a global agreement to combat climate change.


6:55 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN'), standing alongside U.S. President Donald Trump, says they have agreed to work toward a post-war roadmap for Syria and are largely in agreement in terms of security and stability in the Mideast.

Macron acknowledged sharp differences with Trump when it comes to the Paris climate agreement. But Macron said he and Trump were able to discuss how best to combat "a global threat with enemies who are trying to destabilize us."

The two spent several hours together Thursday in some of Paris' most opulent settings, with a visit at the golden-domed Invalides (ahn-vah-leed) monument followed by a meeting at the presidential palace.


6:21 p.m.

President Donald Trump was captured complimenting the French president's wife's appearance in video posted by the French government's Facebook account.

The footage shows Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and their wives chatting after their tour of the museums at Les Invalides (lehz ahn-vah-leed).

Trump at one point turns to Brigitte Macron and tells her: "You're in such good shape."

He repeats the observation to the French president before turning back to the French first lady, and remarking: "Beautiful."

Brigitte Macron was her husband's former high school teacher and their relationship has drawn international attention because of their age difference. Feminist have denounced the comments as sexist, noting that the Macrons' age difference is identical to that of Donald and Melania Trump.


4:57 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump has arrived at Elysee Palace for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron and Trump arrived at the French presidential palace after Macron led Trump on a tour of the nearby Les Invalides (lehz ahn-vah-leed) monument. Napoleon's tomb is located there.

Trump gave Macron a lift in The Beast, the nickname for Trump's imposing, armored limousine. The leaders shook hands again and posed for the cameras before going inside to begin their talks.

Macron met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before meeting with Trump Thursday. During a joint appearance, both leaders took note of their policy differences with Trump. But they said it's important to keep communicating with the U.S. leader.


4:52 p.m.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump in red and her French counterpart Brigitte Macron in white cut a striking contrast on a visit to Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The two first ladies were met by Notre Dame Rector Patrick Chauvet inside the stone walls in front of the famed North Rose window Thursday afternoon, following a visit to the Invalides (ahn-vah-leed) monument and the final resting place of Napoleon.

The organ began playing as the two presidential spouses met and greeted church officials. They had a warm rapport with Macron putting her arm around Trump at one moment before visiting the cathedral.


4:12 p.m.

The French presidential Facebook account is broadcasting live from inside the Invalides (ahn-vah-leed) monument, next to Napoleon's tomb.

The Elysee account showed U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and their wives standing outside the famed French leader's tomb, with Macron serving as tourist guide.

The live feed shows Macron gesturing at the sculpted walls and describing what they're seeing to the Trumps in English, which he speaks fluently.

Thursday's tour will be followed by meetings and a joint press conference by the two men, who got off to a tense start when they were first introduced in May.


3:52 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') are meeting at the Invalides (ahn-vah-leed) monument for a tour of the golden-domed building housing some of France's greatest war heroes, including Napoleon Bonaparte and the Supreme Allied Commander in World War I.

The national anthems of both countries played as the men stood at attention before reviewing troops at a formal welcome ceremony for Trump.

The two presidents will hold a bilateral meeting later in the day after touring the grandiose military edifice.

Thursday's ceremony precedes the Bastille Day military parade. Trump will be the parade's guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. U.S. troops will open the parade Friday as is traditional for the guest of honor.


3 p.m.

President Donald Trump is honoring American World War II veterans during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.

The president is noting in a video clip posted to his Twitter account that the bonds between the U.S. and France were "forged in the fires of war."

Trump was joined at the outdoor event by three American veterans of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944. The president is calling them "real heroes" who "fought for freedom in its hour of need."

Trump is meeting later this afternoon with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') and holding a joint news conference.


11:00 a.m.

Reporters covering President Donald Trump's trip to Paris are getting off to a rather chaotic start after a segment of his motorcade was separated from him.

The president arrived early Thursday morning and was whisked away from Paris Orly Airport to the U.S. ambassador's residence in central Paris.

The streets were closed off to traffic while Trump's motorcade drove past, but the cars on the tail end of his entourage took a wrong turn, drove into oncoming traffic and barely dodged a few pedestrians.

The traveling press corps was among the lost cars and was not able to document Trump's arrival at the ambassador's residence.

The White House would not immediately respond to a request for confirmation that Trump had arrived, though journalists were eventually brought to the residence to wait for the president's meetings to conclude.


9:40 a.m.

First lady Melania Trump has arrived at France's biggest pediatric hospital on her first engagement in the two-day French visit.

The sprawling Necker Hospital is one of Paris' oldest and was founded in 1778. American artist Keith Haring gave a large, multicolored totem sculpture to the hospital in 1987, called "The Tower."

Melania Trump is touring the hospital shortly after her arrival in France with President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One.

The first lady was greeted by senior Paris medical officials during the tour and later met with some of the hospital's young patients.


8:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump will be meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN') as part of his visit to France for Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

Trump arrived in Paris on Thursday morning, and was traveling to the U.S. Ambassador's residence and then attending a luncheon with U.S. military leaders. He's also expected to tour the museums at Les Invalides (lehz ahn-vah-leed) with Macron and then holding meetings with the French leader.

Trump and Macron are expected to discuss possible solutions to the crisis in Syria and counterterrorism.

The two leaders will appear later in the day for a joint news conference. Trump will be attending the Bastille Day celebrations on Friday before returning to the United States.


8:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL' mah-KROHN'), are looking to set aside differences on trade and climate change and find common ground as they meet ahead of Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

Trump arrived in the French capital Thursday morning, hours before he meets with Macron to tackle potential solutions to the crisis in Syria and broader counterterrorism strategies.

Trump's decision last month to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord sparked outrage across Europe and anti-Trump protests are planned while he is in Paris.

The leaders plan to hold a news conference after their talks. Trump may face tough questions about emails revealing that his eldest son welcomed the prospect of receiving Russian government support in last year's presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.