The Taoiseach referred to Mr Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan and said that while the U.S. had military might and a booming economy, they shouldn't lose sight of what makes America great already - its people and its values.
Honored to welcome the Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar to the Vice President's residence for breakfast this morning to begin St. Patrick's Day weekend.
He was surprised how badly the Brexit talks had gone, adding: "I gave the prime minister [Mrs May] my ideas on how to negotiate. she didn't listen to that and that's fine".
"We have a different opinion", he said, referring to the president. "I regret that Brexit's happening and the United Kingdom was a really important part of the European Union". "There is every expectation in Washington that a U.S. -U.K. trade deal could be in place by the end of 2019 if Brexit goes forward this month and Britain successfully leaves the Customs Union".
Parliament will vote later Thursday on whether to extend the March 29 deadline for a deal.
Until the 1998 Good Friday agreement, violence in the previous three decades in Northern Ireland killed more than 3,500 people. MPs are set to vote on Thursday evening on whether to request a delay until at least June.
"I think that the relationship between Ireland and the USA is long-lasting - it's strong", Varadkar told The Washington Post in an interview on Wednesday. "I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner".
"I hate to see it being, everything being ripped apart right now".
Nile Gardiner, a former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said Trump "has been very clear in his view that Brexit is great for America and for Britain".
The Irish leader aims to use the meeting to reaffirm the historical ties between Ireland and the United States.
"The Irish government has played a very adversarial role", Gardiner said.
Pence glossed over the Brexit disagreement as he welcomed Varadkar for the breakfast, and grew nostalgic as he recounted his grandfather's emigration from Ireland and his own affection for the country.
The Washington Post reports that Varadkar is among the few openly gay world leaders, joining Luxembourg's Xavier Bettel and Serbia's Ana Brnabic.
Brexit won't spoil the relationship, even given Trump's history of turning on leaders who cross him, said Marquette University historian Timothy G. McMahon, president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.
Today the Taoiseach will leave Washington and travel to Chicago to meet emigrant support groups. "Friendly disagreements happen in diplomacy all the time". He said: "If they don't talk to us, we're going to do something pretty severe economically. Everything does", he said.