Trump meets Queen El­iz­a­beth II, holds talks with May in Bri­tain

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

ABOVE: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II in­spect the Cold­stream Guards on Fri­day at Wind­sor Castle. First lady Me­la­nia Trump later joined the two for tea. MATT DUNHAM/WPA POOL/GETTY IM­AGES

LEFT: Trump and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter There­saMay head to a joint news con­fer­ence af­ter meet­ing Fri­day at Che­quers, the prime min­is­ter’s coun­try res­i­dence in Buck­ing­hamshire, England.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald LON­DON — Trump on Fri­day praised the lead­er­ship of Theresa May, the prime min­is­ter of Bri­tain, and he called the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries “the high­est level of spe­cial.”

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at Che­quers, the prime min­is­ter’s 16th-cen­tury of­fi­cial coun­try res­i­dence, Trump called May “tough” and “ca­pa­ble,” and said, “I think she’s do­ing a ter­rific job, by the way.”

The pres­i­dent’s com­ments came af­ter a news­pa­per report ear­lier in the week quoted him as crit­i­ciz­ing May’s ap­proach to Bri­tain’s with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union, the process known as Brexit.

Ac­cord­ing to the report, Trump said May’s busi­ness-friendly plan would leave Bri­tain closely tied to the bloc, ul­ti­mately killing the prospect of a trade deal be­tween the United States and Bri­tain. He then pro­ceeded to praise per­haps her most prom­i­nent ri­val, Boris John­son, who re­signed as for­eign sec­re­tary last week in protest over her Brexit plan.

Trump said the first thing he did upon ar­riv­ing at Che­quers on Fri­day was to of­fer an apology to May. But he said May as­sured him one wasn’t nec­es­sary.

“I said, ‘I want to apol­o­gize, be­cause I said such good things about you,’” Trump said of May, adding, “She said, ‘Don’t worry ...”

May, for her part, de­nied she had felt un­der­mined by the ar­ti­cle, piv­ot­ing re­peat­edly to her in­sis­tence the Brexit plan she is pur­su­ing will, in fact, pave the way for an “am­bi­tious” bi­lat­eral trade deal.

Dur­ing an out­door news con­fer­ence af­ter he and May had met for talks, Trump said, “I didn’t crit­i­cize the prime min­is­ter; I have a lot of re­spect for the prime min­is­ter.”

Trump said the first thing he did upon ar­riv­ing at Che­quers on Fri­day was to of­fer an apology to May.

STE­FAN ROUSSEAU/WPA POOL/GETTY IM­AGES

DAN KITWOOD / GETTY IM­AGES

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump get set to hold a joint news con­fer­ence Fri­day in Ayles­bury, England. Ear­lier in the week, the Bri­tish news­pa­per, The Sun, re­vealed crit­i­cisms of May and her Brexit pol­icy made by Trump in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view.

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