Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

United Kingdom minister to Trump: 'Where are your manners, Mr President?'

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump at NATO headquarters in Brussels Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump at NATO headquarters in Brussels Credit  REUTERS
Melinda Barton | 14 July, 2018, 13:01

Last week at the same location, May finally won agreement for her Brexit strategy from her cabinet but within days, two senior ministers quit, which Trump said earlier in the week had left Britain in "turmoil".

U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May held a joint press conference during Trump's visit to the U.K. And they touched on a variety of different topics - including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense spending, immigration in Europe and Russia's alleged election meddling.

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".

The Guardian reports Mr Trump's press conference in which he disavowed comments he made to The Sun about Theresa May's Brexit plans and the impact on a trade deal. He said Brexit was an "incredible opportunity" and "whatever" the United Kingdom did after it left the European Union was "OK with me".

In an interview published just hours before the two leaders held talks, Trump chided the "very unfortunate" results of the prime minister's proposals for Brexit and her negotiating tactics as Britain prepares to leaves the European Union in March next year.

He then took a question from Fox News regarding his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Pointing to May, Trump said "this incredible woman right here is doing a fantastic job, a great job", and added that the U.S. is looking forward to finalising a "great" bilateral trade agreement with the UK. "I think the strategy here is for him to put out a bunch of statements, some of which are contradictory and some of which are nonsensical so that subsequently he can go back and pick the ones that are most useful at some future point and refer people to that". Today we're talking trade, we're talking military, some incredible anti-terrorism things and the relationship is very very strong.

And, what about the so-called special relationship that supposedly links the British and American governments?

Trump said the prime minister was doing a "fantastic" job and branded the interview as "fake news".

Mr Trump told the tabloid, Britain's best-selling newspaper, that he would have gone about Brexit in a different way. The U.S. can not negotiate a trade deal with the United Kingdom until that date Theresa May cited, which is in 2019.

"I would say she actually went the opposite way. She said: "Don't worry, it's only the press".

"The prime minister will be hoping for a calm remainder of the visit". If Trump said it, it's not clear when or where. "I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism".

Trump has claimed to have recorded disputed exchanges in the past without providing evidence.