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Trump threatens retaliation over travel warnings against US

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/10/2019 David Jackson
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump threatened undefined retaliation Friday against countries and organizations that issue travel warnings on the United States because of gun violence.

"If they did that, we'd just reciprocate," Trump said during a wide-ranging impromptu gaggle with reporters at the White House, en route to fundraisers in New York.

He added: "We are a very reciprocal nation with me as the head. When somebody does something negative to us in terms of a country, we do it to them."

Amnesty International and a growing list of countries have begun issuing warnings about travel to the United States because of gun violence, including mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Warnings, which are of varying degrees of intensity, have come from a list of countries that include Uruguay, Venezuela, Japan, Germany, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

In an advisory issued Wednesday, Amnesty International said: "Depending on the traveler's gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence, and should plan accordingly."

Trump did not specify any particular country, or what he might do to retaliate.

Trump also said he received another "beautiful letter" from Kim Jong Un, in which the North Korea leader protested recent "war games" – joint military exercises – between the United States and South Korea.

Trump said he sympathized with Kim's complaint, saying he "never liked" the exercises because "I don't like paying for" them. He said he approved the recent round of exercises because he thought they were necessary.

Trump also questioned whether September trade talks would take place between the United States and China, as they are locked in a renewed tariff war.

While both sides still want a trade agreement, Trump said, "we'll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September ... We are winning and winning big."

The president said the nation's children should not worry as they head back to school this fall, even amid a spate of mass shootings in recent years.

"They have nothing to fear,' he said. "They have nothing to worry about."

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