President Trump in Iowa and Illinois

By Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN
6:01 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018
6:01 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Our live coverage has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see how the day unfolded.

5:07 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Trump says he has "very good relationship" with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said on Thursday he enjoys a "very good relationship" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, suggesting there is already evidence of improved ties.

He also said in his meeting with President Obama at the end of 2016, he got the sense that Obama was ready to go to war with North Korea.

"We have established really a very good relationship," Trump said. "At the beginning, the news was saying 'what he is saying is going to cause war. He's being horrible. He's totally unhinged,' when I use terms like 'little rocket man,' other terms. But honestly, now I have a great relationship, I think, with Chairman Kim."

He continued: "Without the rhetoric and without the sanctions and the other things that we've been doing, now they're dismantling nuclear areas. They've already blown up nuclear areas. They took down the propaganda that was all over North Korea, signs, music, all of this stuff taken down. It's gone."

Trump also compared the camera presence at his event, held in a steel mill, to the Oscars.

"Look at the cameras back there. It's like the Academy Awards," Trump said. "No difference. One of the advantages that I can say is covered live, much of it and when I say it, they can't do anything about it."

4:30 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Trade talks with US cannot be based on threats, French president says

From CNN's Frank Andrews, Sam Bradpiece and Hilary McGann

Trade negotiations between Europe and the US “can only happen on balanced reciprocal terms, and in no case based on threats,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a news conference on Thursday.

"I do not support launching into a negotiation of a vast trade agreement, like TTIP because the context, does not allow it," Macron said when asked about President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in Washington on Wednesday.

Macron added that before any “concrete steps forward” are taken, the US must make “clear gestures” to the European Union on steel and aluminum. He accused the US of placing “illegal taxes” on European exports.

Macron also said that he was “not favorable” to discussing agriculture with the US, saying European standards shouldn’t be “suppressed or lowered.” 

3:38 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Happening now: Trump arrives in Illinois

President Trump just arrived in Illinois, where he will tour a steel production facility and deliver remarks.

Earlier today, he participated in a roundtable discussion on workforce developments at Northeast Iowa Community College.

His visits to Iowa and Illinois come a day after he held discussions with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on tariffs. The talks yielded only a commitment to broad parameters for future trade negotiations and EU pledges to increase imports from the US.

1:25 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Trump claims "we opened up Europe," even though no substantive deal struck

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Donald Trump speaks, alongside Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R), as he holds a roundtable discussion on workforce development at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa, July 26, 2018.

President Trump on Thursday claimed that he struck a deal with the European Union that has "opened up Europe" to American exporters, in particular farmers, even though a substantive deal has yet to be signed.

"We just opened up Europe," Trump said of his discussions with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker a day earlier, which yielded only a commitment to broad parameters for future trade negotiations and EU pledges to increase imports from the US.

"The whole thing is going to be opened up -- no tariffs, no nothing -- free trade," Trump said Thursday during an event in Iowa.

Trump repeatedly used the past tense to discuss trade barriers that farmers continue to face, even though none of the retaliatory tariffs or other pre-existing trade barriers have been lifted by the EU.

1:01 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Happening now: Trump speaks at roundtable in Iowa

President Trump is speaking right now at a roundtable discussion on workforce developments at Northeast Iowa Community College.

During his remarks, Trump talked about his tax cuts, unemployment rates and the cost of prescription drugs.

12:38 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

How the Trump administration is trying to help farmers hurt by the President's tariffs

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced it is offering up to $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs stemming from the President's widening trade feud with other countries.

The aid package will offer much-needed support to farmers caught up in the burgeoning trade war sparked by tariffs Trump imposed on several of US's largest trading partners. But the proposal was quickly greeted Tuesday with continued criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill who argued Trump should nix his tariff strategy rather than roll out a financial backstop.

Here's what some lawmakers are saying:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

And Sen. Ben Sasse, from Nebraska, likened Trump's multibillion-dollar aid plan to "gold crutches" meant to support farmers being hurt by Trump's trade actions.

12:02 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

SOON: Trump tours manufacturing lab in Iowa

President Trump just landed in Iowa. Soon he'll tour a manufacturing lab at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta.

The visit comes as backlash grows over Trump's tariffs.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it is offering up to $12 billion in aid to farmers to help mitigate the retaliatory tariffs stemming from Trump's widening trade feud with other countries.

But at least one Republican — Rep. David Young from Iowa — argued that the bailout for farmers is a warning that those actions are hurting the US agriculture industry.

"I'm not for bailouts. I'm not happy about that. And a lot of farmers aren't as well," Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day," ahead of the President's visit to Iowa later in the day

11:42 a.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Also happening today: It's the deadline to reunite separated migrant families

From CNN's Holly Yan

The US government must reunite all eligible migrant families that it separated at the border today.

But as many as 914 parents won't be reunited with their children by Thursday's deadline. In some cases, the parents can't be found or have serious criminal records. In other cases, they've already been deported without their children. A small number still haven't been linked to children, let alone tracked down.

These are the numbers behind the family separations:

  • 1,012: The number of families the government has already reunited, officials said at a status hearing Tuesday.
  • 463: How many parents the government believes are no longer in the United States. They were likely deported without their children.
  • 191: How many parents won't be reunified with their children because they either have criminal records or declined to be reunified, according to the government.
  • 217: The number of parents have been released from federal custody. Some may be wearing ankle monitors as they await immigration hearing proceedings.
  • 260: That's how many parents' cases require further investigation, the government said Tuesday.

You can follow our live coverage on the deadline here.