Sept. 26th, 2017
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy arrived in Washington D.C. today in his first meeting with President Trump since the latter took office last November. Among subjects discussed, such as fortifying bilateral trade relations and continuing the fight against terrorism, the impending Catalan referendum was the focal point of the meeting. With 5 days remaining until the vote and Spain "in its gravest constitutional crisis in decades", Rajoy sought the support of the American president concerning the 'illegal' vote.
In a joint press conference at 2 p.m. (8 p.m. CET), Trump expressed his support for Rajoy's agenda. "I think that Spain is a great country, and it should remain united", he said, while avoiding any direct comment on his stance concerning the referendum. Rajoy, on his part, stressed the importance of Spain's partnership with the United States, while noting that "the [Catalan] referendum would be illegal, if held".
Trump's remarks follow recent comments made by U.S. Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert that the U.S. has no position on the referendum.