Iraqi prime minister jokes with Trump about wiretaps

Donald Trump to host Iraq PM Haider al-Abadi at White House, may discuss IS elimination

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the White House Monday, and managed to get a jab in to President Donald Trump about his unsubstantiated claims that President Obama had ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower during the 2016 election.

Abadi's remarks followed his first face-to-face meeting at the White House with Trump, who took office on January 20 pledging a new strategy to defeat the hardline militant group that seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

But as Iraqi forces come closer to recapturing the city of Mosul - it's militant group's biggest stronghold in Iraq - the extent to which the Trump administration is willing to commit to efforts to rebuild Iraqi cities, many of them in ruins from the fighting, remains to be seen.

Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi shakes hands with Nancy Lindborg, president of the United States Institute of Peace, after speaking at the institute in Washington, March 20, 2017.

If approved by Congress, more than $3 billion of the additional money would be allocated to the fight against ISIS, including $2 billion for a flexible fund that would allow the Pentagon to decide how to utilize resources in support of the new counter-ISIS strategy.

Earlier in the day, as the two men met, Trump told Abadi that he knew his forces were fighting hard.

"It's not an easy job", Trump said. "I haven't seen it". I know there is a plan, I haven't seen it.

More news: Yogi Adityanath symbolised hatred: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

The conference also comes as an Iraqi military coalition presses its offensive against Islamic State in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

"Mosul is moving along", he said.

Trump said his main thrust is to get rid of the ISIS. "But maybe someday we'll be able to figure that one out".

More than 5,000 USA military personnel are in Iraq, providing critical support in the war on ISIS. "It will happen. It's happening right now".

He queried "why President Obama signed that agreement with Iran, because nobody's been able to figure that one out", referencing the Iran nuclear deal.

"Certainly we shouldn't have left, we should never, ever have left", Trump said, in comments that followed his suggesting that "perhaps we shouldn't have gone in" in the first place.

Trump also affirmed United States support for the fight against the terrorist group ISIS and said "a lot of things are different than they were just five or six weeks ago" in that regard.

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