June 12, 2019 / 6:53 PM / 3 months ago

Trump shows off F-35 fighter to Polish President Duda

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with Poland's President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, as they watch an F-35 flyover outside the White House in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It was not practical to give Polish President Andrzej Duda a ride in a U.S-made F-35 fighter jet, so President Donald Trump did the next best thing - he had one of the pricey planes fly over the White House for Duda to see.

With Duda’s government purchasing some of the jets, Trump took Duda and their wives outside on Wednesday to see a single F-35 make a pass over the White House, zip around the Washington Monument and then head back to the South Lawn for a second pass.

The roar of the aircraft echoed throughout much of downtown Washington and surprised passersby cast their eyes skyward to catch a glimpse of the rare flyover in an area that has been off limits to planes since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

At a subsequent news conference, Trump called the display impressive.

“It actually came close to a halt as it came over the White House,” Trump said.

Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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