Mr. Trump also decried “the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people,” citing the value of individual freedom and sovereignty, in front of an audience that was composed in part of loyalists bused in for the occasion.
“Poland will prevail,” he said, citing the country’s centuries-long history of endurance in the face of invasion, partition, Nazi occupation and communist domination. “Poland will always prevail.”
Mr. Trump had harsh words for North Korea after its recent test of a new long-range missile, but he refused to say during a short news conference with the Polish president, Andrejz Duda, what steps he would take to punish Pyongyang.
He said earlier on Thursday that he was weighing “some pretty severe things” to respond to the North Korean nuclear threat, and he called on all nations to confront what he called the “global threat” from Pyongyang.
“We’ll see what happens — I don’t like to talk about what we have planned — but I have some pretty severe things that we’re thinking about,” Mr. Trump said at the news conference. “They are behaving in a very, very serious manner, and something will have to be done about it.”
Mr. Trump — who is under pressure to confront Mr. Putin on his attempts to sway the election — delivered a mixed message on Russia, one tailored for his Polish audience, the other straight out of his Putin playbook.
The president, acknowledging Polish concerns about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, said, “We are working with Poland” to deal with “Russia’s destabilizing behavior.”
But he said he was still not entirely convinced that Russia was solely responsible for interference in the 2016 election, breaking with American intelligence agencies that have agreed that the efforts emanated from Moscow and were directed by Mr. Putin.
“I think it was Russia, and it could have been other people in other countries,” Mr. Trump said when asked for a yes-or-no answer to the question about Russian meddling. “Nobody really knows for sure.”
Mr. Trump also came with an announcement intended to emphasize his commitment to defending Poland against aggression — possibly from Russia — and to helping American workers. Mr. Duda’s government has agreed to buy the Patriot missile defense system from the United States, a senior administration official said.
Mr. Trump emerged from a Marriott in Warsaw on Thursday a little after 9:15 a.m., his sprawling motorcade of flag-flapping black sedans, police escorts and shuttle buses riding along the Vistula River to a back entrance to the presidential palace. He was greeted by Mr. Duda, and disappeared for closed-door meetings after a session with photographers, emerging only for the news conference.
Unlike in Hamburg, Germany, the site of the G-20 meeting, no major protests were expected in Warsaw, but there were signs of dissent. Wednesday night, around the time Air Force One arrived in Warsaw, environmental protesters projected a message on the side of the Palace of Culture and Science, reading “No Trump, Yes Paris,” a dig at America’s plan to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
And Michael Schudrich, Poland’s chief rabbi, and other Jewish leaders issued a statement Thursday morning that was critical of the White House’s decision not to visit a monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
Every American president and vice president who has visited Warsaw since the fall of communism in 1989 has visited the monument. “We deeply regret that President Donald Trump, though speaking in public barely a mile away from the monument, chose to break with that laudable tradition, alongside so many other ones,” the statement read. “We trust that this slight does not reflect the attitudes and feelings of the American people.”
But Mr. Trump’s appearance in a setting that symbolizes the Polish people’s resistance to tyranny was well received, as was his message linking the fight against the Islamic State to Poland’s resistance of German invasion and occupation from 1939 to 1945.
“We must stand united against these shared enemies to strip them of their territory, their funding, their networks and any form of ideological support,” Mr. Trump said. “While we will always welcome new citizens who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism.”
The pro-Duda crowd at Krasinski Square, in which many waved American and Polish flags, serenaded reporters from both countries with periodic chants of “fake news.”
That came about an hour after Mr. Trump tag-teamed with Mr. Duda in a transnational denunciation of journalists who write negative stories about them.
The American president slammed CNN and defended what he suggested was a lighthearted tweet of a video depicting him body-slamming a figure whose head was replaced by the CNN logo.
What made Mr. Trump’s sermon against the mainstream news media different this time was that Mr. Duda’s center-right party, Law and Justice, proposed restricting the media’s access to the Parliament last year. The government backed down after street protests.
“They have been fake news for a long time,” Mr. Trump said of CNN when asked about the tweet, adding that the network had been covering him in “a dishonest way.”
“We don’t want fake news,” he added, as Mr. Duda nodded vigorously in agreement.
Mr. Duda, responding to an American reporter’s question about his own actions toward the news media, blamed Polish journalists for intentionally distorting his record and for failing to include his positions in articles critical of his government.
After chastising CNN — a go-to move on both sides of the Atlantic — Mr. Trump went after NBC, his former employer. “NBC is nearly as bad, despite the fact that I made them a lot of money on ‘The Apprentice,’ ” he said.
Krasinski Square, dominated by a monument to the 1944 uprising, is considerably smaller than Zamkowy Square, outside the Royal Palace, where President Barack Obama spoke in 2014.
Worried that crowds would not show up on Thursday — Mr. Trump is less popular in Poland’s liberal capital than in the conservative countryside — the authorities chose a smaller, though still symbolically rich, site. The governing party also bused in supporters from the countryside to ensure a large crowd.
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