President Trump paid his first visit to Ireland as president Wednesday—and he did not endear himself to his hosts with a remark about a border wall. Trump, who met Leo Varadkar, Ireland's prime minister, in the VIP lounge at Shannon Airport, told the leader that he thought Brexit will "work out very well, and also for you with your wall, your border." There was a "quiet gasp" from the Irish people present after the remark, according to the Irish Times. Varadkar quickly replied: "I think one thing we want to avoid, of course, is a wall or border between us." A major sticking point in Brexit negotiations has been the question of border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which were removed after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Trump replied: "The way it works now is good, you want to try and to keep it that way. I know that's a big point of contention with respect to Brexit. I'm sure it's going to work out very well." The president ended up meeting Varadkar at the airport lounge after the leader's office rejected a White House proposal to meet at Trump's Doonbeg golf course, where the president is spending two nights, the AP reports. There were anti-Trump protests in some Irish cities Wednesday, but the president's sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., received a "hero's welcome" in the village of Doonbeg, where they pulled pints of Guinness for locals, visiting four pubs in the space of an hour, the Irish Post reports. (Read more Ireland stories.)