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