‘Highest level of special’: 5 things Trump said during media conference with PM Theresa May
Speaking at a joint media conference on Friday, Trump said May is an “incredible woman” who is “doing a fantastic job” as prime minister.
His comments come after an interview with the Sun newspaper, where the president blasted May’s plan for Britain’s exit from the European Union, known as Brexit.
But Trump says he’s gotten to know May much better over several days of meetings and socializing this week and says: “I think she’s a terrific woman.”
From criticizing European immigration to praising former U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson, here are some highlights from the media conference.
WATCH: Trump backtracks on comments critical of Theresa May, Brexit plans
Trump on trade, Brexit
Trump said he did not criticize the prime minister, but praised her.
“I didn’t criticize the prime minister, I’ve got a lot of respect for the prime minister,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, there was a story that was done which was generally fine but it didn’t put in what I said about the prime minister and I said a tremendous thing,” he said. “It’s called fake news.”
Trump said whatever May does “is OK with us” as long as the U.S. and Britain can trade together, adding, “that’s all that matters.”
May likewise glossed over the comments.
“We agreed today that as the U.K. leaves the European Union we will pursue an ambitious U.S.-U.K. free-trade agreement,” she said. “The Chequers agreement reached last week provides the platform for Donald and me to pursue an ambitious deal that works for both countries right across our economies.”
Trump says U.S. has ‘highest level of special’ ties with Britain
During the media conference, Trump said his relationship with the May and the U.K. has never been stronger following his visit.
“I would say I would give our relationship in terms of grade the highest level of special,” Trump said.
“We start off with special, I would give our relationship with the U.K. and now especially after this two days with your prime minister I would say the highest level of special. Am I allowed to go higher than that? I’m not sure but it’s the highest level of special.”
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Trump on Russia, Crimea
Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after his four-day visit to Britain. He was asked how he would deal with the Crimea situation. Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory in 2014.
“President Obama failed very badly with Crimea,” Trump said. “I don’t think he would have done that if I had been president. This was an Obama disaster.
“Crimea was another bad hand I took over. We will look at that just like I’m looking at many other disasters that I’ve taken over. I’ve taken over a lot of bad hands and I’m fixing them one by one — and I know how to fix them.”
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Trump on immigration
During Trump’s interview with the Sun, he said he felt Britain was “losing its culture” because of immigration. When he was asked about this at the media conference, Trump reaffirmed his remark and said: “It’s been very bad for Europe.”
“I think Europe is a place I know very well, and I think that what has happened is very tough. It’s a very tough situation. I mean, you see the same terror attacks that I do. We see them a lot,” Trump said.
“I think it’s changing the culture, it’s a very negative thing for Europe. I know it’s politically not necessarily correct to say that, but I’ll say it loud.”
WATCH: London Mayor fires back at Trump over immigration, terrorism critiques
Trump on Boris Johnson
During Trump’s controversial interview with the Sun, he said he thinks Johnson, who resigned as U.K.’s foreign secretary on Monday, would be a great prime minister.
“He’d be a great prime minister, he’s been very nice to me, he’s been saying very good things about me as president, I think he thinks I’m doing a great job. I am doing a great job.”
However, Trump also stressed that May is an “incredible woman” who is doing a “fantastic job.”
— With files from Reuters
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