April 4, 2019 / 9:17 PM / 5 months ago

Trump laments military spending by U.S., China and Russia, floats deal idea

FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council in the Cabinet room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Thursday lamented the amount of money that the United States, China and Russia spend on weapons production, including nuclear weapons, and suggested that such money could be better spent elsewhere.

Trump, during a meeting with Chinese vice premier Liu He in the Oval Office, floated the idea of following up on a potential trade deal with China with a second phase deal that addressed the issue of military spending and arms production.

“As you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia and those three countries I think can come together and stop the spending and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long-term peace,” Trump said.

“It think it’s much better if we all got together and we didn’t make these weapons,” he said.

Asked by the president to weigh in on the suggestion, the vice premier said he thought it would be a good idea.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Grant McCool

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