Trump Apologizes to May and Vows U.K. Trade Deal After Brexit

Analyse this Donald Trump steers Theresa May on course at Chequers

Analyse this Donald Trump steers Theresa May on course at Chequers Credit Getty

"We stand by our reporting and the quotes we used - including those where the president was positive about the prime minister, in both the paper and in our audio".

Fresh from sending North Atlantic Treaty Organisation into crisis talks and ahead of a summit with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Trump shocked Britain's political establishment when he criticized May's plans for ties with the European Union after Britain leaves in March.

May also downplayed Trump's remarks in the Sun, even while her staff was stunned and members of her party complained about how rude a guest Trump was.

"I would have done it much differently".

This has infuriated fervent Brexit supporters, who think it would limit Britain's ability to strike new trade deals around the world.

Trump is in London, where his day started with a viewing of a military demonstration before he went to meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers, May's country house.

"The United States looks forward to finalizing a great bilateral trade deal" with the U.K., Trump said.

The US President, who is on a four-day-long first official tour to the United Kingdom, also said he had told May how to do a Brexit deal, but she didn't agree and didn't listen to me.

Trump's comments may deepen his unpopularity in the country since they are likely to be seen as an unwanted intervention by a foreign leader in domestic politics.

On Thursday night, hundreds of demonstrators chanted outside the US ambassador's residence in London, where Trump was staying, providing a preview of the forceful protests expected Friday.

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The interview is unlikely to change many minds about Brexit, which has carved a deep divide in the electorate.

"I didn't criticise the (British) Prime Minister".

Trump's endorsement of Johnson must be especially irksome to May.

Trump's interview attracted sharp criticism from British MPs, many of whom described it as an insult to the British prime minister and the UK. I don't think we see it as rude.

"The relationship is very strong", Trump insisted, skirting questions about The Sun interview.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Sun said the president had "essentially retracted" his claim that their interview was fake news.

The meetings are expected to be unusually tense after Trump trashed May's Brexit plans in a diplomacy-wrecking interview with The Sun newspaper that published late Thursday night.

Labor officials are not talking about their tactics for the coming battles but, according to Politico, have spoken privately about a "coalition of chaos" where their MPs would vote with Brexit hardliners to bring down May's deal in an attempt to destabilize the government and force a new election.

But influential Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, who opposes Mrs May's plan for post-Brexit trade with the European Union, said many Conservative MPs shared his view.

He later flew to Scotland where he is staying at his Trump Turnberry golf course.

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