Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

The Latest: Former trooper describes getting gun from the man who took it out of the trash

News

The Latest: Former trooper describes getting gun from the man who took it out of the trash
News

News

The Latest: Former trooper describes getting gun from the man who took it out of the trash

2024-06-07 04:17 Last Updated At:04:20

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on Hunter Biden's federal gun trial (all times local):

On cross-examination, former Delaware state trooper Millard Greer explained that he told the man who took the gun out of the trash can, Edward Banner, that he wanted to talk to him because someone had left something in the trash at the grocery store that they should not have left.

More Images
Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on Hunter Biden's federal gun trial (all times local):

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, depart from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hunter Biden, accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, depart from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

First lady Jill Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

First lady Jill Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Greer recalled Banner telling him: “Oh, yes they did.”

Abbe Lowell, the defense attorney, questioned Greer in great detail, which sometimes became comical, about how Banner drew a sock containing the gun from a shoe box and gave it to him, along with the leather pouch, the speedloader, ammunition and a Chapstick lip balm.

Lowell asked Greer whether Banner also turned over an iPhone box that apparently may have belonged to Hunter Biden. Greer said he could not recall, but that if Lowell was asking about it, he probably did.

Greer concluded his testimony and the prosecution called Banner to the stand.

Currently:

— Widow of Beau Biden takes the stand in Hunter Biden’s gun trial, talks about tossing the firearm

Here's the latest:

Former Delaware state trooper Millard Greer testified about video surveillance footage from the grocery store where Hallie Biden tossed Hunter Biden’s gun in the trash at a grocery store.

That footage showed an elderly man looking in the trash can and pulling out the gun just a short time earlier.

Greer said he was able to identify and find the man, who took Greer to his home, where he pulled the gun out of a sock and gave it to the trooper. He also handed Greer the leather pouch in which Hallie had put the gun, along with a speedloader and a box of ammunition.

Court has resumed in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial with former state trooper Millard Greer being called to the witness stand.

Greer is now a special investigator with the Delaware Department of Justice.

President Joe Biden says he won’t pardon his son Hunter if he’s convicted in his federal gun trial.

Biden was speaking to ABC News from Normandy France, where he’s commemorating the anniversary of D-Day. The White House has said in the past that Biden would not pardon Hunter, but he was asked in an interview Thursday whether he would accept the outcome of his son’s trial, and he said: “Yes,” according to ABC.

He also said “yes” when asked whether he’d rule out a pardon.

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley testified about speaking with Hunter Biden after his gun was tossed into the trash.

After brief direct examination of Marley from the prosecution, defense attorney Abbe Lowell began his questions.

Lowell asked Marley whether he or the other trooper arrived at the grocery store first. Marley said he couldn’t remember. The questioning seemed to be part of a defense strategy to cast doubt on the memories of witnesses.

Marley’s testimony ended and the court recessed for an afternoon break.

Hallie Biden has concluded her testimony in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

The prosecution then called a state trooper to the stand.

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley and another officer were called to the grocery store where Hallie Biden tossed Hunter Biden’s gun in a trash can on Oct. 23, 2018.

Marley said he and a fellow trooper interviewed Hunter after he arrived at the store that day.

Hallie and Hunter Biden exchanged a series of texts in the days after she threw out his gun that reflected a growing tension between the two.

“I’m a drunk,” Hunter wrote in one text on Nov. 8, 2018. “An addict,” he added four seconds later.

Hallie Biden’s cross-examination has also given details of the conversations between her and Hunter Biden after she disposed of his gun.

Hallie called Hunter at 12:55 p.m. He then called her at 1:11 p.m.

At 1:23 p.m., Hallie texted Hunter: “Police coming to talk to me now. I’ll take full blame. I don’t want to live like this anymore. This is too much for me to handle.”

Hunter later arrived at the store, where the police talked to him as well.

Hallie and Hunter later left the store separately, but Hallie said she could not recall whether she went straight home.

“I would probably go home. But I just don’t recall driving back home,” she said.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked Hallie Biden if she recalled also putting an iPhone box in the bag with Hunter Biden’s gun.

“I don’t recall the iPhone box,” she said.

Hallie said she arrived at the store where she threw the gun in the trash at 11:20 am. About 25 minutes later, Hunter texted her, asking, “Did you take that from me, Hallie?”

In a phone conversation about a minute later, Hallie said she told Hunter she had taken the gun.

She then went back to the grocery store at Hunter’s request to see if she could retrieve it. Unable to find the gun, Hallie asked store employees if they had emptied the trash.

“I was upset,” said Hallie, who then worked with a store employee to call the police to report the missing gun.

Lowell pointed to phone records showing that they had several phone conversations over the next hour after she threw out the gun.

Hallie said she could not recall details of those calls.

Under cross-examination in Hunter Biden’s trial, Hallie Biden testified about how she put the gun in a bag with the intent of getting rid of it.

“I didn’t want to hold it like a gun,” Hallie Biden said.

She added that she saw a box of ammunition that she put in the bag as well.

“In the console, there were some loose bullets, just sitting there,” she said. They also went in the bag.

“He didn’t know I was doing this,” Hallie said.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked Hallie Biden about her recollection of events on Oct. 23, 2018, the day she found Hunter Biden’s gun and tossed it in the trash.

The questioning appeared to be aimed at casting doubt on her memory.

Hallie said she saw a powder-like “dusting” when she found the gun in Hunter’s truck, parked outside her house.

“I don’t recall exactly what it was,” she said.

Lowell, referring to Hunter, said: “You don’t have a specific memory of where he was and when he was there.”

“On that morning, you’re not certain when you went to the car,” the defense attorney said.

“Correct,” Hallie said.

“You’re not certain when you saw him,” Lowell said.

“Correct,” she said.

The lunch break is over and Hallie Biden has returned to the stand as cross-examination continues in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Before the break, the defense’s cross-examination followed the prosecution’s tour through text messages and Hallie’s recollections of her and Hunter Biden’s drug use. It also covered her finding a gun in Hunter’s truck and throwing it in the trash.

Court has taken a break for lunch in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Hallie Biden will resume her testimony after the break.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hallie Biden acknowledged that when Hunter Biden told her in a text message the day after the gun purchase that he had been at a 7-Eleven store and waiting for a dealer, she didn’t know whether that was actually the case.

Hunter’s message came after she sent a text wondering where he was, suspecting that he might have been with another woman.

Hallie also said she could not know whether Hunter was being truthful when he told her in a text on Oct. 14, two days after the gun purchase, that he was smoking crack.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked Hallie Biden about her own drug use and whether she attended counseling with Hunter Biden after he returned to Delaware from California in early October 2018.

Hallie said that from the time Hunter returned to Delaware to the time she threw his gun in a trash can, she did not use drugs and did not see Hunter using drugs. That period includes Oct. 12, 2018, the day of the gun purchase that led to the criminal charges he’s facing.

Prosecutors allege he lied on the gun purchase form when he said he wasn’t using drugs.

The defense has begun the cross-examination of Hallie Biden as she testifies in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial.

Hunter Biden’s defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, began by asking Hallie about Hunter Biden’s drug use after they began a romantic relationship following the 2015 death of her husband and Hunter’s brother, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

Hallie Biden remained calm and composed as a prosecutor questioned her about her romantic relationship with Hunter Biden as she testified in his trial.

She didn’t turn to look at Hunter Biden or his supporters as she entered the courtroom. Hunter appeared to remain expressionless as he watched her testify.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

The prosecutor asked Hallie Biden about a text message Hunter Biden sent her the day after he bought the gun, saying he was waiting for a dealer named Mookie.

Leo Wise asked what she thought Hunter meant.

“That he was buying crack cocaine,” she said.

The jury later left the courtroom for a morning recess and the attorneys resumed their discussion over evidence admissions.

Testifying in Hunter Biden’s trial, Hallie Biden recalled later telling him she got rid of the gun she found in his truck.

She said Hunter told her to go back to the store where she’d thrown it away and look for gun. Surveillance footage shows Hallie looking in the trash can for the gun, but it was no longer there.

Hallie asked store officials if someone had taken out the trash or if they had surveillance footage that might help her find out what happened to the weapon.

She said Hunter told her to file a police report because the gun was registered in his name. She called the police while she was still at the store.

Testifying in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial, Hallie Biden described panicking after finding a gun in his truck.

“I panicked and I wanted to get rid of them,” she testified of finding a gun and ammunition in the console of Hunter’s truck in October 2018.

Prosecutor Leo Wise asked why she panicked, and Hallie responded: “Because I didn’t want him to hurt himself, and I didn’t want my kids to find it and hurt themselves.”

Hallie said she considered hiding the gun but thought her kids might find it. She then decided to throw it away.

“I was afraid to touch it. I didn’t know if it was loaded,” Hallie said.

She put the gun in a leather pouch, stuffed it in a shopping bag, and tossed it in a trash can outside an upscale grocery market near her house.

The prosecution played surveillance footage showing Hallie dumping the gun in the trash.

“I realize it was a stupid idea now, but I was panicking,” she said.

Prosecutor Leo Wise asked Hallie Biden about visiting Hunter Biden at a hotel in California in 2018, and whether she was using drugs at the time.

“Yes, I was,” Hallie said.

“And who introduced you to it?’” the prosecutor asked.

“Hunter did,” Hallie said as Hunter rested his face on his left hand and looked down.

“It was a terrible experience that I went through, and I’m embarrassed and ashamed, and I regret that period of my life,” Hallie said.

Hallie said she stopped using drugs in August 2018, but that Hunter continued smoking crack.

Testifying in Hunter Biden’s trial, Hallie Biden said that after she began a relationship with him, she learned he was using crack cocaine.

She believes she first found the drug at her house in Wilmington, Delaware, where Hunter would stay from time to time. She later saw Hunter actually using crack.

“Where did he get the drugs from?” asked prosecutor Leo Wise.

“Various dealers,” replied Hallie, adding that she was sometimes with Hunter when he met dealers.

She also said smoking crack could leave Hunter “agitated or high-strung, but at other times, functioning as well.”

As she testified, Hallie Biden calmly answered the prosecutor’s questions in an even, steady voice.

Former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland has finished his testimony and the prosecution has called Hallie Biden to the witness stand in Hunter Biden’s federal gun case.

Hallie Biden is the widow of Hunter Biden’s late brother, Beau Biden. She had a brief romantic relationship with Hunter after Beau died in 2015. Hallie said the relationship began in late 2015 or early 2016.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell asked former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland what he had told another gun store employee who ran the background check on Hunter Biden.

Cleveland initially said he didn’t tell the other employee anything, but then said he had asked the employee, Jason Turner, if it was OK to use Hunter’s passport as an acceptable form of identification.

Cleveland testified that Turner indicated Hunter would need to provide another form of identification with his address on it, like a utility bill or a vehicle registration.

Hunter then left the store and returned a short time later, Cleveland said, but he did not see Hunter holding a piece of paper or presenting anything to Turner.

In his cross-examination of former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland, defense attorney Abbe Lowell notes that some of the questions on the form Hunter Biden filled out are in the present tense, such as “are you an unlawful user of or addicted to” drugs.

Others are in the past tense, such as asking the potential gun buyer whether he or she has ever been discharged from the military or been adjudicated as a mental defective.

Defense attorneys have suggested Hunter Biden might not have been using drugs at the time he bought the gun, or considered himself at that time to be an addict.

Lowell asked Cleveland what he had told another gun store employee who ran the background check on Hunter Biden. Cleveland initially said he didn’t tell the other employee anything, but later said he had asked the employee if it was OK to use Hunter’s passport as an acceptable form of identification.

Former gun store clerk Gordon Cleveland is back on the stand testifying in Hunter Biden’s federal trial.

The president’s son is charged with falsely stating he was not a drug user or addict when he bought a revolver in October 2018. He’s facing three felony charges involving making false statements in a firearms transaction, and illegally possessing the gun.

On Wednesday, the jury heard testimony from Cleveland, who watched as Hunter Biden checked off “no” to the question of whether he was “an unlawful user of or addicted to” marijuana, stimulants, narcotics or any other controlled substance.

The lawyers in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial argued back and forth about exchanges of documentary evidence between the prosecution and defense.

The discussion involved text messages extracted by the prosecution from Hunter’s laptop hard drive.

“You’re not giving them the information in the same way they gave it to you,” Judge Maryellen Noreika told a defense attorney.

The attorneys also argued over whether expected testimony from Hallie Biden about her text message exchanges with Hunter contains inadmissible hearsay. Hallie is the widow of Beau Biden and had a romantic relationship with Hunter Biden after his brother’s death.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge the defense plans to file a motion later Thursday after the prosecution rests its case, challenging the sufficiency of the prosecution’s case.

Judge Maryellen Noreika told Lowell that if he thinks she will be able to read the motion, consider the prosecution’s response and issue a quick ruling, he has “an elevated view” of her ability.

“I appreciate that, but it’s not going to happen,” she said.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial has resumed for the day with attorneys and the judge discussing Wednesday’s testimony of a gun store clerk who sold a revolver to Hunter in October 2018.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the judge he would like to continue his cross-examination by asking former clerk Gordon Cleveland about how another gun store employee became involved in the transaction.

Hunter Biden has arrived at the courthouse for another day of testimony in his federal gun trial.

He was holding a copy of his own memoir, “Beautiful Things.” The jurors have been hearing excerpts from the book in court.

Hunter Biden has been charged with three felonies stemming from the purchase of a gun in October 2018. The son of President Joe Biden is accused of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the application by saying he wasn’t a drug user and illegally having the gun for 11 days.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty and said the Justice Department is bending to political pressure from Republicans and he is being wrongly targeted.

Jurors in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial have heard from the former gun store clerk who sold him the the .38 caliber Colt revolver.

On Wednesday, the jury heard testimony from the clerk, Gordon Cleveland, who watched as the president’s son checked off “no” to the question of whether he was “an unlawful user of or addicted to” marijuana, stimulants, narcotics or any other controlled substance.

Federal prosecutors have argued Hunter Biden was in the throes of a heavy crack addiction when he bought the gun, and they’ve accused him of lying on the form.

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Delaware State Police trooper Joshua Marley departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hallie Biden departs from federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, left, arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden, accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, depart from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Hunter Biden, accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, depart from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

First lady Jill Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

First lady Jill Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Gordon Cleveland departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Hunter Biden departs from federal court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

WOODSTOCK, England (AP) — Leaders from across Europe gathered at a grandiose English country mansion on Thursday for a summit clouded by worries about whether the United States would remain a reliable ally if Donald Trump wins a second presidency.

Newly elected U.K. Prime Minister Keir Starmer welcomed some 45 heads of government to discuss migration, energy security and the threat from Russia as he seeks to restore relations between the U.K. and its European Union neighbors four years after their acrimonious divorce.

Starmer told the European Political Community gathering that the U.K. plans to take a more active role on the world stage, especially when it comes to Ukraine's fight against Russia’s invasion and to people-smuggling gangs organizing irregular migration.

He told fellow leaders that under his government the U.K. would be “a friend and a partner, ready to work with you — not part of the European Union, but very much part of Europe. Not focused on the differences between us, but on the values that we share."

“Our first task here today is to confirm our steadfast support for Ukraine, to unite once again behind those values that we cherish and to say we will face down aggression on this continent together,” he said, adding that the threat from Russia “reaches right across Europe.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a key guest at the meeting, aimed at shoring up Europe’s support for his country’s defense and discussing ways to defend democracy. The U.K. accuses Moscow of seeking to undermine European democracies with cyberattacks, disinformation and sabotage.

When Britain agreed earlier this year to hold the one-day summit, Conservative leader Rishi Sunak was prime minister. His defeat in a July 4 election means it’s Starmer who welcomed leaders to Blenheim Palace, a Baroque country house that was the birthplace of World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

“It’s an incredibly useful occasion for Keir Starmer, because it gives him the chance to get to know a lot of European leaders,” said Jill Rutter, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Government think tank. “It’s like Rishi Sunak organized a dating party for him.”

The guest list includes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The meeting is the fourth for the EPC group, a brainchild of Macron. It was established in 2022 as a forum for countries both inside and outside the 27-nation EU after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine shattered Europe’s sense of security. Previous meetings of the group have been held in the Czech capital, Prague; Chisinau, Moldova; and Granada, Spain.

The U.K. hopes this will be the best-attended summit to date, though EU chief Ursula von der Leyen stayed away as she fights to secure a second term as European Commission president from lawmakers in the European Parliament. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also a no-show.

Starmer’s center-left government aims to rebuild ties with the EU strained by years of ill-tempered wrangling over Brexit divorce terms. A key priority is a new U.K.-EU security pact that Starmer hopes to strike soon.

“We are confident that a new chapter will be opened with the U.K.,” European Council President Charles Michel said as he arrived.

The U.K. plans to work more closely with the European police agency Europol against people smuggling, part of measures to beef up border security following Starmer’s decision to scrap the Conservatives’ contentious and unrealized plan to send migrants arriving in the U.K. by boat on a one-way trip to Rwanda.

Delegates gathered at Blenheim Palace, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of London, will be treated to full British hospitality, including strawberries with cream and a reception hosted by King Charles III.

Many thoughts will likely stray to the U.S., where the weekend assassination attempt on Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, underscored how febrile and polarized politics has become ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

Trump’s skepticism about NATO has long worried U.S. allies. Trump’s choice of Sen. JD Vance, an opponent of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, as vice presidential running mate has heightened concerns.

“European countries must stand on their own legs more than ever,” said Netherlands Prime Minister Dick Schoof.

That sentiment was echoed by several other leaders, but not by Hungary's pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has riled other EU nations with a series of rogue meetings with foreign leaders about Ukraine, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Orban said a Trump victory would be “the best news for everybody, because he's a man of the people.”

Associated Press journalist Sylvain Plazy in Brussels contributed to this story.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks during the first plenary session, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks during the first plenary session, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, before the start of the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, before the start of the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Britain's Prime minister Keir Starmer, centre, makes remarks at the opening plenary session during the European Political Community meeting at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. From the left is the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister of Britain Keir Starmer, Charles Michel President of the Council of Europe and President of Moldova Maia Sandu (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Britain's Prime minister Keir Starmer, centre, makes remarks at the opening plenary session during the European Political Community meeting at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. From the left is the Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister of Britain Keir Starmer, Charles Michel President of the Council of Europe and President of Moldova Maia Sandu (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, before the start of the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, gestures as he speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, before the start of the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Dick Schoof arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/PA via AP, Pool)

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Dick Schoof arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/PA via AP, Pool)

Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban gestures as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban gestures as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, Pool)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives at the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, Pool)

Britain's Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, greets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, greets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, is welcomed by Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, to the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, Pool)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, is welcomed by Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, to the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, Pool)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

The President of France Emmanuel Macron listens to British Prime Minister Keir Starmer during the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England , Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

The President of France Emmanuel Macron listens to British Prime Minister Keir Starmer during the first plenary session at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England , Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

Britain's Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, greets France's President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, right, greets France's President Emmanuel Macron as he arrives to attend the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Jacob King/Pool Photo via AP)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, speaks during the first plenary session, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England , Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, right, speaks during the first plenary session, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, at the European Political Community meeting in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England , Thursday, July 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, Pool)

FILE - A view of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, March 24, 2009. Leaders from across Europe gather at an English country mansion on Thursday, July 18, 2024, for a summit overshadowed by worries about whether the United States will remain a reliable ally if Donald Trump secures a second presidency. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP, File)

FILE - A view of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, March 24, 2009. Leaders from across Europe gather at an English country mansion on Thursday, July 18, 2024, for a summit overshadowed by worries about whether the United States will remain a reliable ally if Donald Trump secures a second presidency. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP, File)

Recommended Articles