Donald Trump won't follow in Australia's footsteps on gun control

Sunday, 25 Feb, 2018

A woman has been held after a vehicle struck a barrier outside the White House it has been reported.

At a press conference at the White house, the United States leader said he hopes to "follow in [Australia's] footsteps" with tough "merit-based" immigration policies but insisted the U.S. and Australia were "very different countries with very different sets of problems" when it came to gun control.

The driver was identified as a resident of La Vergne, Tennessee, and as someone the Secret Service has had previous encounters with near the White House, "resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations".

Witnesses saw a commotion on the White House grounds as security officers responded. There were no reports of any injuries.

Turnbull said that he intends to offer Trump his "deepest condolences" for last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., about 30 miles outside Fort Lauderdale.

Trump thanked Turnbull for his continued support for the US' program of Freedom of Navigation Operations.

As well as enjoying what he said was a "very, very valuable visit", he was no doubt pleased that the drama over his deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, was resolved in his absence, with the Nationals leader resigning after his extramarital affair was exposed.

"We will hopefully follow in your footsteps", Trump, talking about immigration policies, said.

Security risks in the Asia-Pacific region created by a more assertive China and North Korea's nuclear ambitions will also be on the agenda.

And he's offering an intriguing carrot: An offer to invest some of Australia's public pension assets in US infrastructure.

"We are very satisfied with our laws, we maintain them, they're well known, but we certainly don't presume to provide policy or political advice on that matter here", Mr Turnbull said.

Turnbull's visit to the White House followed tense interactions between the two leaders a year ago when they clashed over a refugee swap deal.

"The relationship we have with Australia is a terrific relationship and probably stronger now than ever before, maybe because of our relationship, our friendship", Trump remarked after the awkward silence.

Trump and his wife, Melania, met Turnbull and his wife, Lucy, on the south lawn of the White House on Friday.

In December, Trump issued an executive order urging the private sector to increase exploration of critical minerals to reduce dependence on imports, improve national security, and enhance the technological superiority and readiness of USA armed forces.

"We're working on trade deals, we're working on military and protection and all of the things that you would think we would be discussing today".