President Trump claimed Friday that his relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May remained “strong” after giving an interview to a British newspaper criticizing his counterpart’s plan for leaving the European Union.
The president ignored shouted questions from reporters upon arriving at May’s Chequers estate Friday for another round of discussions with the British leader, but remarked during a part of their meeting open to reporters that the relationship remained strong.
“The relationship is very, very strong… very, very good,” Trump said Friday, according to pool reports.
The president added that he has experienced “an incredible two days” in the country, and stressed that he is working with May’s government on anti-terror policy and broader U.S.-Middle East strategy.
“We talked for an hour, an hour and a half,” Trump said of his Thursday dinner with May. “Today we’re talking trade, we’re talking military. We just moved some incredible anti-terrorism things.”
“We’re going to do a news conference in a little while,” he added, according to the pool report. “So we’ll answer your questions then. Right now we’re going to be talking about some things taking place in the Middle East and elsewhere.”
Trump’s remarks Friday come after the president shocked British media by slamming May’s policies Thursday night in an interview with The Sun in which he hinted that a potential U.S.-U.K. trade deal may be off the table due to the U.K.’s plan for a “soft Brexit.”
“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump told The Sun.
“I would have done it much differently,” Trump added of May’s Brexit approach. “I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me.”
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”
Two of May’s top aides, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, resigned last week over frustrations with May’s proposal to create a “UK-EU free trade area.” Trump also endorsed Johnson as “a great prime minister” in The Sun interview.