Britain is in ‘turmoil’, Boris Johnson is ‘my friend’ and it’s ‘up to the people’ if May stays as PM: Donald Trump risks snub row with extraordinary comments ahead of UK visit
- Donald Trump has risked diplomatic incident ahead of visit to the UK this week
- US president heaped praise on his ‘friend’ Boris Johnson after his resignation
- Mr Trump said it was ‘up to the people’ whether Theresa May stayed on as PM
Donald Trump risked sparking a diplomatic incident today ahead of his visit to the UK by saying the country is ‘in turmoil’ and refusing to endorse Theresa May as PM.
The US president said it was ‘up to the people’ of Britain to decide whether Mrs May stayed on in Downing Street.
He also heaped praise on his ‘friend’ Boris Johnson – who dramatically resigned from government yesterday over Brexit – and suggested he could meet him during the trip.
The comment comes just days before he is due to fly into the country for a long-awaited working visit.
Speaking to the media alongside First Lady Melania today before leaving the US, Donald Trump said it was ‘up to the people of Britain’ to decide whether Mrs May stayed on as PM
here are already fears of tensions, after he publicly clashed with Mrs May (pictured in London today) over criticism of crime levels in London, the performance of the NHS, and retweeting posts from a far-right group
Downing Street has revealed some details about the visit by Donald Trump and the First Lady to the UK next week
There are already fears of tensions, after he publicly clashed with Mrs May over criticism of crime levels in London, the performance of the NHS, and retweeting posts from a far-right group.
Speaking to journalists as he set off for a Europe, Mr Trump said there were a ‘lot of things’ going on in the UK at the moment and the country seemed to be ‘somewhat in turmoil’.
‘The UK certainly has a lot of things going on,’ he said.
‘Boris Johnson’s a friend of mine. He’s been very, very nice to me. Very supportive.
‘And maybe we’ll speak to him when I get over there.
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‘I like Boris Johnson. I’ve always liked him.’
Asked by DailyMail.com whether Mrs May should continue as PM, Mr Trump said ‘that is up to the people’.
However, he added that he had a ‘very good relationship’ with Mrs May.
Mr Trump joked that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin might be the ‘easiest’ leg of his trip to Europe.
‘So I have Nato, I have the UK – that’s a situation with turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all.’
Mr Trump said Boris Johnson (pictured signing his resignation letter last night) was a ‘friend’ and suggested he could meet up with him in the UK
The US president will meet Mrs May at her Chequers country residence (pictured) on Friday rather than in Downing Street
On his trip to Europe, he added: ‘It’s going to be an interesting time in the UK and an interesting time at Nato. We will work it out and all countries will be happy.
‘We do have a lot of allies.
‘But we cannot be taken advantage of. We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union. We spend 75 per cent on Nato and frankly, it helps them more than it helps us.’
Mr Trump will not make any public appearances in London when he comes to the UK next week – amid a massive security operation.
The US president and First Lady Melania will touch down in Britain on Thursday for his first visit since entering the White House.
Huge protests have been threatened that could see 50,000 take to the streets of the capital, while a big orange ‘Baby Trump’ blimp has been given permission to fly.
The bill for the American leader’s three-day trip is expected to be around £30million as 10,000 police officers are deployed to keep the US commander-in-chief from trouble.
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