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One question, addressed to US President Donald Trump, was related to the Visa Waiver Program. Specifically, if he and Romanian President had discussed the Visa Waiver Program for Romanians.

Inclusion of Romania within Visa Waiver Program is a subject that is usually included whenever the President or a diplomat has a high level meeting with a US representative. This makes sense since most EU countries have this benefit.

However, the two Presidents responded differently to this simple question: while Iohannis told the press that there were some discussions, Donald Trump said there were no such discussions.

Q Thank you. Mr. President, were there any discussion about the Visa Waiver Program for Romania? Is there a time frame for including our country in this program? Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We didn’t discuss it --

PRESIDENT IOHANNIS: Yes --

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We didn’t discuss it. But there would be certainly -- it would be something we will discuss.

Mr. President.

PRESIDENT IOHANNIS: I mentioned this issue, and I also mentioned it during other meetings I had, because this is important for us, it's important for Romanians who want to come to the United States. And you see more and more people come, President Trump, from Romania to the United States. Some come as tourists. Some come for business. And those who come for business should be encouraged.

(From the White House's Press Briefing)

So the matter of visa waiver would be probably important to discuss. And we all hope that we will advance on this.

Question: Assuming the most likely scenario, where at least one question about this subject was addressed by the Romanian President, why would Trump deny such a thing?

I do not see any harm in having a discussion. Or is it a sensitive subject within US politics?

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    I've edited the question to include the exact remarks as quoted from the White House's press briefing for added context. Feel free to rollback, if you wish :) – Panda Jun 13 '17 at 12:43
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    @Panda - oh, it's much better than just a link to the video. Thanks. – Alexei Jun 13 '17 at 13:46
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    It might not be denial as much as not paying any attention to details regarding a country he doesn't see as a major power. – PoloHoleSet Jun 13 '17 at 14:45
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    Does this really have an answer that doesn't boil down to "Trump wasn't paying attention"? (And I did turn that down several notches in the interests of civility :-)) – jamesqf Jun 13 '17 at 18:49
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    @jamesqf If you mention something to me and I don't respond on that issue, it's fair for me to say that we didn't discuss it and you to say that you mentioned it. Imagine, for example, if I'm legally obligated not to discuss some issue with you but you bring it up and I ignore you. You mentioned it. We did not discuss it. – David Schwartz Jun 13 '17 at 19:02
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There's a couple of things at play here

  1. Donald Trump shoots from the hip (meaning he doesn't consider the political ramifications before he speaks). Seriously. I could speculate all day about why he would deny a conversation he had, but Trump is well known for contradicting people who work for him, let alone foreign heads of state.
  2. There is some sensitivity here. Trump wants to be known for being an immigration hawk. Trump has already taken steps to limit the number of Visas issued. So Trump likely doesn't want his position to even be questioned, and has(in other subjects) vehemently denied what other Presidents would just quietly let slide.
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    "Trump is well known for contradicting people who work for him" - even for contradicting himself, as well, unfortunately. – PoloHoleSet Jun 13 '17 at 20:08
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    This opinion piece is not an answer. Posts like this make Politics SE indistinguishable from Reddit. – MrLore Jun 13 '17 at 20:17
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    @MrLore No, it's not opinion. Trump often does not consider what he says before he says it. He even contradicts his own people. Furthermore, we've seen Trump be irate at suggestions contrary to the narrative he wants. Trump is very touchy about immigration (of which Visas are a major part of) – Machavity Jun 14 '17 at 12:10
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    @Machavity Unless you're Trump or you can find a quote of him saying that, that is just your opinion of him. – MrLore Jun 14 '17 at 13:22
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    @MrLore I doubt there's a more concrete answer to this question than the justifiable points given in this answer (although they could perhaps be better justified, and possibly mention the possibly subjective definition of "we discussed it"). There is plenty of evidence out there supporting both claims. If you don't agree with the subjective nature of this answer, that's probably only an argument that the question should be closed. – NotThatGuy Jun 14 '17 at 13:42
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I just read the transcript and the answer is very obvious. It is very easy to understand the President because he is not keeping anything back. What he says is what he is thinking. When President Trump says he did not discuss it, it means that he has not said anything about it. What President Iohannis says he mentioned the issue, as in he brought it up but President Trump did not say anything about it.

President Iohannis is as human as the next guy and it really is something important to him. When President Iohannis says "Yes" that means that it is something at the top of his mind. You can see in the next paragraph:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We didn’t discuss it. But there would be certainly -- it would be something we will discuss.

President Trump realizes how important it is and pledges to discuss it. The final proof is in President Iohannis own words:

PRESIDENT IOHANNIS: I mentioned this issue, and I also mentioned it during other meetings I had, because this is important for us, it's important for Romanians who want to come to the United States. And you see more and more people come, President Trump, from Romania to the United States. Some come as tourists. Some come for business. And those who come for business should be encouraged.
So the matter of visa waiver would be probably important to discuss. And we all hope that we will advance on this.

You can see how important it is to President Iohannis and how he is now reaffirming that he wants to discuss it with President Trump

The other answer that states that President Trump is an immigration Hawk is misleading as the President has stated numerous times that "Legal Immigration" is something he encourages. I know this is hard to believe because the news repeatedly states that The President want to curb legal immigration too. However, If you read those articles, it is always someone else that says it and not him. When he actually speaks he encourages legal immigration. For example his campaign appearance and during the debates he states: he was "all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley" when refering to H1B visas (Which Side Is Donald Trump on in the Fight Over Legal Immigration?). We can all talk about his intentions but in his deeds, the only ones being affected are illegal immigrants. Once again you have to dig deep into the article where it shows that the round up being done are for those convicted of crimes or otherwise ineligible to receive santuary.

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    If I understand it correctly, if the question from the reporter would've been "President Trump, did Iohannis mention to you how important the Visa Waiver Program is?" he would've replied "Yes" but since they didn't actually discuss then he said no. – the_lotus Jun 13 '17 at 14:08
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    "We can all talk about his intentions but in his deeds, the only ones being affected are illegal immigrants." Does this apply to the proposed Travel Ban? – self.name Jun 13 '17 at 15:46
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    It is untrue that "the only ones being affected are illegal immigrants." He has repeatedly sought to stop all legal immigration from 6-7 countries (stopped only by the courts), signed an executive order to start the process of reforming the H1-B visa program to limit its availability, blocked refugees from coming to the US, and his rhetoric has caused many potential students to fear studying in the US. – Zach Lipton Jun 13 '17 at 17:54
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    @FrankCedeno the President himself describes it as a TRAVEL BAN (in capitals): twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/871899511525961728 – pjc50 Jun 13 '17 at 20:21
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    No, Frank, I'm not arguing "ban," or not, I'm saying that Trump's executive order dealt, specifically, with people who were part of a legal immigration process. We don't offer visas to people not eligible to legally have them, right? His initial EO also specifically stopped people who already had valid visas. The claim that it only impacted illegal immigration is demonstrably false. The opposite it true. The EO referred to as a "travel ban" was specifically dealing with processes for legal immigration. – PoloHoleSet Jun 13 '17 at 20:33

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