An Unsettled Britain Plays Host to Trump

An Unsettled Britain Plays Host to Trump

A day of planned mass protests against President Donald Trump's visit to the United Kingdom has kicked off in dramatic fashion, as Trump made a series of explosive comments about Britain's leaders to a tabloid newspaper.

"I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London", Trump told The Sun. "When a deal takes so long, they never work out very well".

The Politico website described Mr Trump's interview as "one way to break up a special relationship".

Donald Trump, Melania Trump and and French President's wife Brigitte Macron (L) walk prior to attend a working dinner at The Parc du Cinquantenaire - Jubelpark Park in Brussels on July 11, 2018, during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

Asked about Trump's comments, May said: "We're delivering on the vote of the British people to take back control of our money, our laws and our borders".

Trump also heaped praise on Johnson, May's nemesis who resigned over the "soft Brexit" blueprint on Monday, suggesting he would "make a great Prime Minister".

It speculated that Mr Trump may have been "wound up" over Brexit by British politician Nigel Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader who campaigned for years for Britain to leave the European Union, or that his comments may have been informed by a meeting between his security adviser John Bolton and the ERG, a group of strongly pro-Brexit Conservative Party MPs.

In remarks that will likely further weaken May's already tenuous grip on her own government, Trump told The Sun, a British newspaper, in an interview published Friday (13 July) that her proposed "soft" post-Brexit relations with the European Union would scupper a U.S. trade deal. She should negotiate the best way she knows how.

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Protesters released a giant, orange-hued balloon of a "Trump Baby" in a diaper over Britain's Houses of Parliament early Friday morning, in what organizers said was an attempt to speak to the leader "in a language that he understands, which is personal insults". The president opened the day by reviewing a private military exercise alongside May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. They dined with Theresa May ahead of a working lunch at Chequers and later meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The interview was the latest breach of diplomatic protocol from Trump, whose predecessors tended to avoid criticizing their foreign hosts. And Trump has now openly sided with them against the prime minister.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement after the interview was published, saying Trump "likes and respects Prime Minister May very much".

"As he said in his interview with the Sun she "is a very good person" and he 'never said anything bad about her.' He thought she was great on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation today and is a really terrific person", Sanders wrote.

Thousands of people are expected to protest against the president in London on Friday, when a 20-foot (6-meter) balloon depicting the president as a screaming baby will be flown near Parliament.

Trump even took a shot at London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not taking a harder line on immigration and painted the city as a hub for terrorism. The president claimed Europe is "losing its culture" because of immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

"But the other people who will be saying this is really good news for us are the "remainers" in the European Union, because when the United Kingdom delegation goes to Brussels next week to sell the idea that it's going to be really hard for the EU to resist the temptation to say to them 'look, you think dealing with us is hard, how do you feel about dealing with him?'"

In a commentary for the Breitbart website, British writer James Delingpole said Mr Trump had "dropped the mother of all Brexit bombs" on Mrs May.

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