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Ross yet to decide how he will protest over the upcoming Trump visit

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Shane Ross. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Shane Ross. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Shane Ross. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Another Government minister may use the visit of Donald Trump to air his grievances over the US president's controversial policies.

Shane Ross, of the Independent Alliance, has said he will decide in the coming weeks how to express his dissatisfaction with the Trump administration's policies during his November visit.

Two of his Cabinet colleagues, Finian McGrath and John Halligan, have said they will take to the streets in protest of the visit by the controversial president.

However, Mr Ross is reserving his position for now but said he supports the right of his colleagues to protest.

"I will decide in coming weeks what action I will take to express my disapproval of President Trump's policies," Mr Ross told the Herald.

Commemorations

Previously, Mr Ross spoke out against the visit of then taoiseach Enda Kenny to Washington for St Patrick's Day.

The visit is expected to take place on November 12 after Mr Trump visits France for the Armistice commemorations.

He is expected to pay a courtesy visit to the Aras, where he will meet the next President of Ireland. Three of the hopefuls looking to get on the presidential election ballot - Gavin Duffy, Joan Freeman and Peter Casey - have said they would welcome Mr Trump to the Aras.

Meanwhile, Senator Freeman said: "Whatever personal conviction we might have shouldn't actually interfere with the fact that he, like every other head of state, should be made welcome."

The Dubliner said Mr Trump may be "more lenient" toward her due to her setting up of a charity in New York, Solace House.

"I set up a charity in New York, the second one is going to open next Monday, so I've given a gift to America," she said.

"So I think President Trump might be a little bit more lenient towards me."

Separately, the Herald has learned that Mr Duffy has hired a PR guru who ran his rival Sean Gallagher's campaign in 2011.

Richard Moore, a former government adviser, is to lead Mr Duffy's media strategy.

It is understood he has accepted a temporary contract for the next two months after being approached by the Dragons' Den investor in recent weeks.

He will act as a liaison point for journalists and be heavily involved in behind-the-scenes planning. Mr Moore, who is managing director of MComm Communications Consultants, has worked with politicians in Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, serving as adviser to Dermot Ahern when Mr Ahern was the justice minister.

His appointment to Mr Duffy's campaign team will raise eyebrows as seven years ago he was at the forefront of Mr Gallagher's campaign.

Meanwhile, an upcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward says President Donald Trump's chief of staff privately called him an "idiot" and presidential aides plucked sensitive documents off Mr Trump's desk and thought he was often unaware of foreign policy basics.

Anecdotes

Those are some of the explosive anecdotes in the book on Mr Trump's first 18 months in office. The Washington Post yesterday published details from Fear: Trump In The White House'.

Mr Woodward quotes an exasperated chief of staff John Kelly doubting Mr Trump's faculties, declaring during one meeting: "We're in crazytown."

Mr Trump's former lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, is said to have doubted Mr Trump's ability to avoid perjuring himself if interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.


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