WINDSOR CASTLE, England (Reuters) – President Donald Trump mentioned on Friday the United States and Britain might safe a “great” post-Brexit commerce deal, lavishing reward on Prime Minister Theresa May and contradicting his personal withering evaluation of her technique publicized hours earlier.
Fresh from sending NATO into disaster talks and forward of a summit with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Trump shocked Britain’s political institution when he criticized May’s plans for ties with the European Union after Britain leaves in March.
In a newspaper interview printed simply hours earlier than holding talks with May, Trump mentioned her Brexit technique would “kill” any likelihood of a commerce deal and mentioned she had not listened to his recommendation on the way to negotiate with the EU.
But, as the 2 leaders stood collectively for a press conference within the backyard of May’s grand 16th-Century official residence Chequers, Trump mentioned the British chief was doing a “fantastic job”, added it was as much as her the way to conduct Brexit, and free commerce deal was very a lot on the desk.
Relations had by no means been extra particular, he mentioned, and any criticism was “fake news”.
“Once the Brexit process is concluded and perhaps the UK has left the EU, I don’t know what they’re going to do but whatever you do is OK with me, that’s your decision,” Trump mentioned.
“Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together, that’s all that matters. The United States looks forward to finalizing a great bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This is an incredible opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it fully.”
At the identical location per week in the past, May lastly received settlement for her Brexit plans from her cupboard after two years of tortuous inside wrangling. But inside days, two senior ministers had stop, departures which Trump mentioned earlier within the week had left Britain in turmoil.
Some lawmakers in her deeply divided Conservative Party have forged May’s “business-friendly” Brexit plan as a betrayal that would depart Britain too near the EU and warned that she would possibly face a management problem.
May’s formal proposals had been printed on Thursday, however hours later the Sun printed an interview with Trump the place he appeared to aspect with the prime minister’s critics.
“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” he advised the Sun. “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
Asked about that interview, Trump mentioned he had not criticized May, lavishing reward on “a terrific woman”, who was good, powerful and succesful.
“This incredible woman right here is doing a fantastic job, a great job,” he mentioned. “She’s a total professional because when I saw her this morning, I said: ‘I want to apologize, because I said such good things about you’. She said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s only the press’.”
“HIGHEST LEVEL OF SPECIAL”
May, likewise, glossed over the feedback within the Sun, saying her deal offered a platform for an bold free commerce deal.
Trump’s remarks to the Sun had been essentially the most biting any U.S. president has ever made on go to to Britain. However, beneath the blue skies of the Chequers’ backyard, he mentioned their relationship was “the highest level of special”.
However, whereas Trump and May exchanged heat phrases, tens of hundreds of protesters marched towards the U.S. president by means of central London, bringing a lot of the British capital to a standstill. It was one of many greater than 100 demonstrations deliberate throughout the nation throughout his four-day keep.
“The message we came here to give today is that Trump is not welcome in Britain,” mentioned shopkeeper Grish Gregoran, 58, who took the time off to attend. “We wished to embarrass him and I believe we have accomplished that at this time.
Trump has additionally incessantly angered British politicians and has been concerned in social media spats with London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan who he mentioned had “accomplished a really unhealthy job on terrorism”.
Late final 12 months, May herself criticized Trump for retweeting a message by a member of a British far-right group, and the speaker of parliament has mentioned the president wouldn’t be welcome to deal with the chamber.
After leaving Chequers, Trump traveled to Windsor Castle to have tea with Queen Elizabeth. He was heralded by army bands on his arrival on the 92-year-old monarch’s home the place her grandson Prince Harry married U.S. actress Meghan Markle in May.
He was as a result of fly to one among his golf programs in Scotland in a while Friday the place he’ll keep till Sunday when he flies to Helsinki for talks with Russia’s Putin the place he mentioned he would carry up the difficulty of nuclear disarmament.
However his journey is ready to be overshadowed by news U.S. federal grand jury has indicted 12 army intelligence officers on fees of hacking the pc networks of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
“We have this stupidity going on, pure stupidity, but it makes it very hard to do something with Russia because, anything you do, it’s like: ‘Russia, oh he loves Russia’,” Trump mentioned on the press conference earlier than news of the indictment.
“I love the United States but I love getting along with Russia and China and other countries.”
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; Additional reporting by William James, Kate Holton, Andrew MacAskill and Paul Sandle; modifying by Larry King, Kevin Liffey, David Stamp, William Maclean