Donald Trump’s UK visit is off to a rocky start after he insulted Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and hailed Boris Johnson as a future prime minister in a fiery interview with a British tabloid newspaper.
In an explosive interview with The Sun, Trump said Prime Minister’s latest Brexit whitepaper would “probably kill” a UK-US trade deal, which would leave the UK without a major replacement for the lost EU trade after the UK leaves the union in March 2019, and praised his “friend” Boris Johnson, saying he would make a “great prime minister”.
Downing Street has chosen not to respond to Trump’s remarks, but by starting his tour by insulting his host and praising the man who resigned in an attempt to bring down her government has likely not helped an already tense situation.
Trump also attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the interview, saying that he had done a “terrible job”, after the mayor approved a petition to fly a giant balloon of Trump as a giant orange baby clutching a smartphone over Parliament Square for the duration of the President’s visit.
In response to comments that the balloon could offend Trump, Khan told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “The idea that we would park our rights and privileges and freedoms because it may cause offence to a US president, I think people in London and the UK would find objectionable as indeed would Americans.”
Trump’s visit has been met with widespread demonstrations, with over 50,000 people expected to march through central London in protest of his policies towards women, minority groups, immigrants, and general hostility towards liberalism and America’s Western allies and cosying up to dictators and autocrats such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.