February 19, 2019

Trump criticizes Theresa May in interview a day before meeting

14 July 2018, 01:59 | Devin Moran

Dominic Raab the replacement for David Davis as Brexit Secretary Credit NNIKLAS HALLE'N AFP Getty Images

Dominic Raab

"Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together. This is an incredible opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it fully", he said.

The UK administration, he said, has a "remarkable ability to play the ball and not the man so they will talk about the ways in which the (Brexit) deal the Prime Minister is proposing could allow for a free trade arrangement with the United States". He was decidedly critical of May and her Brexit plan, saying he "would have done it much differently".

In a press conference on Friday that revolved mostly around Trump's criticism of May, the American president claimed repeatedly that he was misquoted.

"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the United Kingdom, so it will probably kill the deal". "Whatever you do is OK with me", Trump told the press conference.

Mr Trump said he had given the PM a suggestion about how to come out on top in the talks but "she found it maybe too brutal".

But he repeated his praise of Mr Johnson, saying: "Boris Johnson, I think, would be a great prime minister".

However, he later said Ms May was doing a "fantastic job". "I have a lot of respect for the prime minister", he added.

Trump's comments were condemned by British politicians as it delivered an astonishing political knifing of the already embattled May, comprehensively undermining her fragile position in Britain's tortuous negotiations on leaving the European Union next year.

Trump's interview published Thursday amounted to a stunning diplomatic affront for a visiting U.S. president, emerging while Trump was still at a gala dinner May threw in honor of his visit. However, under the blue skies of the Chequers' garden, he said their relationship was "the highest level of special".

The US President, who has faced planned protests in London since his arrival, also told The Sun he feels "unwelcome" in London, explaining why much of his visit will take place outside the capital city.

"It will certainly be something that we bring up and talk about", Mr Trump said.

"It's changing the culture; I think it's a very negative thing for Europe", he said, noting that it was not politically correct to say so, "but I'll say it and I'll say it loud". "I think he is a great representative for your country".

Trump added that May had failed to take his advice on negotiating Brexit with the European Union (EU), and praised the former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who had resigned from his post four days earlier in protest at May's Brexit policy.

Sources have revealed particularly nasty remarks Trump has reportedly made about May. He was heralded by military bands on his arrival at the 92-year-old monarch's home where her grandson Prince Harry married USA actress Meghan Markle in May.

Following a visit to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst on Friday morning, Trump flew to Chequers in Buckinghamshire by helicopter to avoid the protesters who are demonstrating his visit.

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