London (July 13, 2018): United States President Donald Trump touched down in the United Kingdom Thursday and spoke with a major British tabloid where he differed with British Prime Minister Theresa May on her approach to Brexit.
“I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say. But I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route,” Trump said.Trump said May “didn’t listen” to his views on how she should negotiate the UK’s exit from the European Union, but said that was “fine.”
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how, but it’s too bad what’s going on,” Trump said. Trump’s comments in the interview are an extraordinary criticism of a foreign leader during a trip to that leader’s country. Trump was greeted by May in a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance Thursday evening just hours before the interview was released.Trump’s interview with the paper came after his contentious meeting with NATO members in Brussels and ahead of his scheduled visit with Queen Elizabeth II. His interview likewise came after May recently announced a path forward on Brexit that met criticism from members of her own government, including Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary on Monday.
Trump said that he felt her approach of keeping some ties to the EU would “affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way,” and referenced his administration’s combative trade posture with the EU.“I’m just saying I think he would be a great prime minister,” Trump said. “I think he’s got what it takes, and I think he’s got the right attitude to be a great prime minister.”
“I think the immigration, allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame,” Trump said. “I think it changed the fabric of Europe, and unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was, and I don’t mean that in a positive way. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you’re losing your culture.”The interview also touched on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who Trump has criticized, including in the wake of apparent terrorist attacks on the UK’s capital city.
“You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London,” Trump said, adding later that Khan had “done a very bad job on terrorism.”