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Trump's tweets serve him well: Tillerson

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/06/2017 Karen Sweeney

US President Donald Trump has his own way of communicating with the world and his late night Twitter rants "serve him well", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says.

Around the world leaders have raised concerns about Mr Trump's unpredictability, particularly on social media, but Prime Minister Bill English didn't raise the issue during a meeting with Mr Tillerson in Wellington on Tuesday.

"I don't think it's our position to comment on the way that the elected leader of another country conducts his business," Mr English said at Premier House after the meeting.

He compared it to Mr Tillerson raising discussions about his own Facebook page, on which recent posts have included spaghetti on pizza and "run-walks".

He also chose not to invite Mr Trump to visit New Zealand.

"We've got an election in three months and I'm sure whoever the New Zealand Prime Minister [is] after late September will be in a position of making a decision on whether to invite the President," he said.

He wouldn't commit to inviting Mr Trump if National won, saying the situation was "hypothetical".

Reporters did ask Mr Tillerson about his unpredictability on Twitter, and he responded by defending Mr Trump.

"The President has his own unique way of communicating with the American people and the world and it's served him pretty well," Mr Tillerson said.

"I don't pretend to advise him on how to communicate, that's up to him."

Labour leader Andrew Little also raised concerns with Mr Tillerson about the "ideosyncratic nature of [Mr Trump's] leadership" and its impact on world affairs and international relations.

"I think we do need to let senior members of the administration know that from our point of view it's not helping international relations and a sense of peace and security around the world," he said.

But Mr Little doesn't support backing away from the US relationship, saying it goes beyond any one president or any one New Zealand government.

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