Both looked em­bar­rassed as May drowned in praise

The Scotsman - - News Digest - Paris Gourtsoyannis

They were two peo­ple mak­ing an awk­ward at­tempt to pre­tend away their em­bar­rass­ment.

Don­ald Trump had been caught red handed be­ing rude about his host, so like naughty boys ev­ery­where tried to blame it on some­one else.

“We record when we deal with re­porters – it’s called ‘fake news’.”

As usual, his re­marks were a re­al­ity free-zone. The pres­i­dent’s staff are even re­in­forc­ing his time bend­ing claim that he opened Trump Turn­berry on the day of the Brexit vote, pre­dict­ing the re­sult.

The me­dia were there, too – and we also record. In fact, he flew in the day af­ter.

Per­haps for the first time, how­ever, Trump did look a bit sheep­ish. Pos­ing for pic­tures be­fore the talks, he rolled his eyes in mock dis­gust at a ques­tion about his in­ter­view with the Sun, but the pan­tomime ges­ture wasn’t en­tirely con­vinc­ing.

Later, he re­vealed he even said sorry. Don­ald Trump can feel shame – who knew?

The Prime Min­is­ter was just try­ing to get through the day in her usual easy­go­ing man­ner. Her premier­ship of­fers up plenty of com­pe­ti­tion, but this has been one of its worst weeks. All May needed was a post-brexit trade of­fer and for noth­ing else to go wrong.

So why were the podi­ums placed in the Che­quers gar­den, down a set of three steps? It guar­an­teed pic­tures that Downing Street can’t have wanted, as the pres­i­dent grabbed May’s hand.

Like ev­ery­thing else about Trump’s treat­ment of her, the ges­ture felt pa­tro­n­is­ing and un­der­min­ing – he re­peat­edly re­ferred to May in the third per­son with­out us­ing her name, as she stood two feet away. He spoke for twice as long as she did, cast­ing fresh doubt on UK-US trade, at­tack­ing the press and spread­ing far-right ide­ol­ogy be­hind a Downing Street podium, in front of Bri­tish and US flags.

She looked like she was drown­ing in the hol­low praise rain­ing down.

“Yes­ter­day we had break­fast, lunch and din­ner and then I said, ‘What are we do­ing to­mor­row?’ – and we are hav­ing break­fast and lunch with Theresa May and I’m go­ing to see her again later!” Trump said, not quite nail­ing the tone.

“I would much rather have her as my friend than my en­emy,” he went on. “And we are friends,” she shouted – but he was al­ready tak­ing the next ques­tion.

PIC­TURE: GETTY IMAGES

Don­ald Trump takes to the lectern at Che­quers

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