"And President Xi was enjoying it", Trump said. Reports suggest that Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels will join up with the US carrier strike group.
In the meantime, the White House has been sending mixed signals concerning Syria and Assad.
As a result, the Syria operation, generally praised at home and overseas, has consolidated the power of Trump's core foreign policy team, in ways that may alter the political balance of this White House. After North Korea launched four extended-range scud missiles into the Sea of Japan in a reported rehearsal for strikes on US bases in Japan, the Japanese government began looking into options to not only boost national missile defense capabilities, but also to return fire if North Korea launched an attack.
Reversing his position just before the summit, Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that China was no longer manipulating its currency, and that he realized that punishing China over this issue could cost the U.S. China's cooperation on North Korea.
Candidate Trump repeatedly promised to hold China accountable and penalize the country for being a "currency manipulator".
His demotion was seen as another sign that the more moderate, establishment orientated influences in his administration - epitomized by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump's daughter Ivanka, and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn - were rising to the detriment of Bannon and his anti-establishment cohort Stephen Miller.
During the campaign and the early days of his Presidency, Trump repeatedly said he had no interest in starting "World War III over Syria", including saying: "We have bigger problems than Assad".
Tillerson is taking Trump's message to Moscow this week. The Syrian Army slammed Washington's attack as "blatant aggression", claiming that it makes the USA a partner of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other terrorist organizations. "I look at Assad - and Assad looks better than the other side". "We can work together or against each other".
As the White House continues its development of the Trump Doctrine, a majority of Americans support President Trump's decision to send airstrikes into Syrian in response to President Basher al-Assad's recent chemical weapons attack on civilians.
Of course, one day of policy adjustments does not necessarily mean that Trump's unique political persona and methodology are suddenly going to change. Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates offers the crucial caveat: "There's merit in getting Russia off balance politically, but being militarily unpredictable when Russian forces are directly involved is a very risky business".