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LONDON – The U.K. woke Friday to discover that President Trump had thrown fuel onto the country’s already fiery political debate — on a day in which he will hold a joint press conference with under-siege Prime Minister Theresa May, meet with Queen Elizabeth II and witness tens of thousands of demonstrators march through London in protest of his three-day working visit.
Trump arrived Thursday to scattered protests in front of Downing Street and the residence at which he has staying. But after a dinner which included May, The Sun published an extraordinary interview with Trump in which the president doubled down on his criticism of May’s approach to handling Britain’s departure from the European Union.
The article goes on to state the following:
In that interview, he said that May’s new, softer approach to Brexit — which would leave Britain sticking to a “common rulebook” with Brussels on goods — would kill off the chances of a much sought-after U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” he told The Sun. “No, if they would do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”
While he did praise May in the interview, he also said May had not taken his advice on Brexit, something he said was “fine.”
“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” he said, before saying negotiations had gone on “too long.”
Below is audio released from the interview:
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“Theresa May’s government, her leadership hangs in the balance this week in the UK over the Brexit plan. Donald Trump has just taken a bulldozer and driven straight through that plan and potentially straight through the Prime Minister’s leadership.” – @KattyKayBBC pic.twitter.com/gdc3ivxHyR
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) July 13, 2018
Trump sends shockwaves through UK https://t.co/TwMMcZC0PD
— Charlie Peel (@charliepeeled) July 13, 2018
May welcomes Trump at Chequers. Both leaders praised the special relationship ahead of bilat meeting, with Trump ignoring multiple questions about if he regrets his Sun interview criticizing May Brexit approach and saying rival Boris Johnson would make good PM pic.twitter.com/b3v2jKNq6V
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) July 13, 2018