(SUN) In a world exclusive interview with The Sun, the US President said Theresa May had ignored his advice by opting for a soft Brexit strategy.
DONALD Trump today accuses the PM of wrecking Brexit — and warns she may have killed off any chance of a vital US trade deal.
The US President delivers his incendiary verdict on her negotiating strategy in a world exclusive interview with The Sun.
In an extraordinary intervention timed to coincide with his UK visit, Mr Trump said Theresa May ignored his advice by opting for a soft Brexit strategy.
And he warned her any attempts to maintain close ties with the EU would make a lucrative US trade deal very unlikely.
Mr Trump said: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”
His comments, damaging to the Prime Minster, come as he delivers his most brutally honest verdict yet on Britain in which he also:
- Accused EU leaders of destroying its culture and identity by allowing in millions of migrants
- Tore into London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not standing up to terrorists
- Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital
- Insisted former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would make “a great Prime Minister”
- Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher”
- Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings
- Demanded Britain and other Nato countries spend more on defence
- Spoke of his sadness at feeling unwelcome in the capital by anti-Trump protesters
- Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies
- Told of his pride at taking wife Melania to meet the Queen
Mr Trump’s remarks come as he prepares to meet the PM for a working lunch at Chequers.
He will then board a helicopter for Windsor Castle to meet the Queen before flying up to Scotland for a private two-day visit.
Thousands of people are expected to take part in a series of protests during his stay in the UK.
I told May how to do Brexit but she didn’t listen to me
THERESA May’s new soft Brexit blueprint would “kill” any future trade deal with the United States, Donald Trump warns today.
Mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM’s exit negotiation, the President also reveals she has ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks.
Instead he believes Mrs May has gone “the opposite way”, and he thinks the results have been “very unfortunate”.
His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM’s new Brexit plan — which was unveiled in full yesterday.
It would stick to a common rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.
But Mr Trump told The Sun: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.
“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”
Mr Trump made the bombshell intervention during a world exclusive interview with The Sun — the only British media outlet he spoke to before his arrival in the UK for his first visit as President.
It will pour nitroglycerine on the already raging Tory Brexiteer revolt against the PM.
And in more remarks that will set off alarm bells in No10, Mr Trump also said Mrs May’s nemesis Boris Johnson — who resigned over the soft Brexit blueprint on Monday — would “make a great Prime Minister”.
A big US-UK trade deal, long promised by Mr Trump, is cherished by Leave campaigners as Brexit’s biggest prize.
But the President said Mrs May’s plan “will definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way”.
He explained: “We have enough difficulty with the European Union.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading.
“No, if they do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”
Questioned on Boris’s comments at a private dinner two weeks ago that Mr Trump “would go in bloody hard” if he was negotiating Brexit, the President swiftly replied: “He is right.”
He added: “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.
“She wanted to go a different route.
“I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way. And that is fine.
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”
Asked if that meant he would be prepared to walk away from the negotiating table, Trump replied: “Oh, absolutely. I think what is going on is very unfortunate. Too long.
“You know, deals that take too long are never good ones. When a deal takes so long, they never work out very well.”
Mr Trump also went even further in questioning whether Mrs May’s new Brexit plan upholds the referendum result — which he claimed he predicted two years ago. He said: “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on.
“It was not the deal that was in the referendum. I have just been hearing this over the last three days. I know they have had a lot of resignations. So a lot of people don’t like it.”
Despite the withering criticism of Mrs May’s Brexit strategy, Trump insisted he still thinks she is “a very good person”.
He also denied claims that she bores him.
Asked about a report in The Washington Post that he thinks of Mrs May as “a bossy schoolteacher”, Mr Trump said: “No, no, no, no. I never said anything bad about her.
“That is fake news. I think she is a nice person. I get along with her very nicely. The Washington Post is totally fake. They are just a lobbyist for Amazon.”
Recalling a visit to one of his luxury golf resorts in Scotland two years ago, Mr Trump said: “I predicted Brexit.
“I was cutting a ribbon for the opening of Turnberry — you know they totally did a whole renovation, it is beautiful — the day before the Brexit vote.
“I said, ‘Brexit will happen’. The vote is going to go positive, because people don’t want to be faced with the horrible immigration problems that they are being faced with in other countries.
“You remember that Barack Obama said that there is no way it is going to happen, and the UK will get to the back of the line if it ever does, right? I said Brexit will happen, and I was right.”
At a press conference in Brussels yesterday at the end of a summit of Nato leaders, Mr Trump again cast doubt on whether the PM’s soft Brexit plan was true to the referendum result.
He said: “I don’t know if that’s what they voted for.”
Downing Street was left shell-shocked by the criticism.
Mrs May rushed out her own statement to hit back at the President’s claim.
The PM insisted: “We have come to an agreement at the proposal we’re putting to the European Union which absolutely delivers on the Brexit people voted for.
They voted for us to take back control of our money, our law and our borders and that’s exactly what we will do.”
Johnson tipped as future PM
The US President described the former Foreign Secretary as “a very talented guy”, adding: “I like him a lot.”
He said: “I have a lot of respect for Boris. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me.
“I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country.”
Asked if the ex-minister could be in No 10 one day, he replied: “Well I am not pitting one against the other. I am just saying I think he would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
Novichok attack will not stop Trump meeting Putin
BRITAIN’S fury over the Salisbury nerve agent attack will not stop Donald Trump from bonding with Vladimir Putin next week.
The President flies from the UK to a summit with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday.
Quizzed on whether the Novichok attack made him reconsider, he said: “I think getting along with China, getting along with Russia, is a good thing.”
He suggested Mrs May’s plans for a soft Brexit was a hostile move towards the US because “the European Union is very bad to the United States on trade”.
Theresa May has urged Mr Trump to tackle Mr Putin on Novichok and other international outrages, including cyber attacks.
Mayor Khan doesn’t like me but I say to him: You’ve done terrible job on terror
The Labour heavyweight has “done a very bad job on terrorism” by allowing so many migrants to come to the city, the President controversially argues.
The incendiary remarks are the most vicious in the White House boss’s long-running feud with London’s first Muslim mayor.
It began more than two years ago during Trump’s US presidential election campaign when Mr Khan attacked his vow to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering America.
Deepening the duo’s bitter war of words again, Mr Trump told The Sun in an exclusive interview ahead of his arrival in Britain: “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.
“I look at cities in Europe, and I can be specific if you’d like. You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism.
“I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the horrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in.”
London was hit by four terror attacks last year — including in Westminster, London Bridge, Parsons Green Tube station and Finsbury Park’s mosque.
Speaking to The Sun inside the US Embassy in Brussels, the US President also revealed he thinks Mr Khan has shown a lack of respect to America by attacking him personally.
Mr Trump added: “I think he has not been hospitable to a government that is very important. Now he might not like the current President, but I represent the United States.
“I also represent a lot of people in Europe because a lot of people from Europe are in the United States.”
Mr Trump also clashed with Mr Khan after last June’s van and knife rampage on London Bridge and Borough Market — mocking the mayor for his appeal to Londoners to stay calm.
The President tweeted: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”
Mr Khan described the tweet as “ill-informed”.
A source close to Mr Khan last night pointed out that the Home Office is in charge of immigration policy for London and the whole country and not those in City Hall.
Meanwhile, a Tory MP faced calls to be suspended yesterday after being accused of Islamophobia over a picture he tweeted of Mr Khan.
Michael Fabricant posted an image with the London Mayor’s head on an inflatable pig that is being mounted by a second pig along with Mr Trump laughing.
The tweet is thought to be in response to Mr Khan’s decision to allow a 20ft “Trump Baby” blimp to be flown over London during the President’s visit.
Mr Fabricant deleted the image and claimed he did not see that it featured Mr Khan’s face, saying: “My fault was not checking it closer on my iPhone first.”
But Labour’s Luke Pollard said: “Tweeting racism is not a good look for a Conservative MP when there is a real problem with Islamophobia in the Tory party.”
Trump on London crimewave
DONALD Trump says London is in the middle of a crimewave — and blasted Sadiq Khan for failing to tackle the problem.
He said the mayor has “done a bad job on crime”.
It follow suggestions by the President earlier this year that gangs in the capital were getting round our strict gun laws by stabbing people instead.
Mr Trump said: “Yes that’s right — they don’t have guns, they have knives.”
More than 50 Londoners have been killed with knives this year. Nine people have been shot.
In 2017, there were at least 115 murder probes with 80 deaths the result of stabbings.
Blood on the walls
ONE British hospital is so bad that it has “blood all over the walls”, the President has claimed.
Recalling an article he read recently, Mr Trump said: “They had a story in one of the major New York newspapers recently about your hospital. You know about that story? I’m sure you’ve seen it.
“What they say is, it is worse than any hospital they have ever seen in a war zone.
“It is right in the middle of London. I guess it used to be the ultimate and now there is, you know, there is blood all over the walls, all over the floors.
“It was a very major story and I have heard it from others, too, so I think it is very sad. Very sad.”
It is the second time the US leader has attacked the hospital, which he has not named.
It is believed to be the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London, where a record 702 stabbing victims were treated last year.
Trump dubbed it “a war zone” during a speech in May to the National Rifle Association about the spiralling danger posed by knife crime.
Leading Royal London trauma surgeon Dr Martin Griffiths later said he would be “happy to invite Mr Trump to my prestigious hospital”.
Migrants ‘harm UK’
The wave of migrants from the Middle East and Africa is permanently changing the continent for the worse, the 72 year-old president argued.
And he claimed the situation pains him personally as the son of two EU countries.
Mr Trump told The Sun: “I have great love for countries in Europe.
“Don’t forget, essentially I’m a product of the European Union, between Scotland and Germany.
“Right? My father Germany, my mother Scotland.
But in a controversial outburst, he added: “I think what has happened to Europe is a shame.
“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame.
“I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.
“So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.
“I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”
Mr Trump made tackling illegal US immigration one of the planks of his 2016 election campaign.
No1 fan loves his football shirt gift
“MR President, these gentlemen are from The Sun,” an aide formally announced as we were ushered into the Trump inner sanctum.
Entering the court of an emperor, it pays to bring a gift.
We presented him with an England shirt when we interviewed him at the US Embassy in Brussels on Wednesday, ahead of the Nato summit.
“Oh wow. I love gifts,” he said, happily obliging our photographer Paul Edwards by holding the personalised top up with a trademark grin.
“You don’t hear the word England as much as you should,” he continued.
“I think England is a beautiful name.”
Two things about him struck me most.
First, Trump has total power. Nobody on his White House staff tells him what to say, or questions him when he says it.
When Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced our scheduled ten-minute slot was almost up, the President swiftly interjected: “No, give them a little bit more.”
We stayed for 28 minutes, with no more prompts to go.
Secondly, he is a very sensitive man, constantly saying how much various people like him. It clearly pains him today that he is not being welcomed to Britain as a hero and our most important ally.
On our way out, we met Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly. The former US Marine Corps general took me aside and said: “I read The Sun every day. I love Britain.”
Why would I stay in London when I feel so unwelcome?
DONALD Trump has admitted he “feels unwelcome” in London as a major security operation was launched for his arrival in the UK yesterday.
But the tycoon insists real British people “love the President of the United States”.
Mr Trump told The Sun he will be largely staying away from the capital to avoid huge street protests of up to 200,000 today.
But he blamed them on politicians — singling out his nemesis, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Revealing he has been told of the 20ft “Trump Baby” blimp that will be flown above Parliament Square today, he said: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.
“I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?
“And when I say that I am talking about government because the people of the UK agree with me.”
Mr Trump let his true feelings slip during an exclusive interview with The Sun hours before Air Force One touched down at Stansted Airport at 2pm yesterday.
Of his four-day visit, he added: “Many people are delighted. I get thousands of notifications from people in the UK that they love the President of the United States.”
He described a West London pub being renamed The Trump Arms for the duration of the trip as “wonderful”, adding: “I love those people. Those are my people.”
Mr Trump added: “You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party — 92 per cent. Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.
“But the people of the UK, and I’ll bet if you had an honest poll, I’d be very strong. They want the same thing I want. I love the UK.”
His trip is a lower key working visit rather than the full state visit that the Queen invited him on 18 months ago.
Asked why he has failed to visit Britain as President until now, Mr Trump said: “Well, you know the United States has been very busy. We have been doing very well.”
Theresa May hosted a dinner with 150 business bosses at Winston Churchill’s birthplace Blenheim Palace for Mr Trump last night.
The Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards’ bands opened the event with a military ceremony in the Great Court.
Mr Trump and wife Melania are travelling everywhere in his Marine One helicopter to avoid demonstrations — including in and out of last night’s accommodation at the US Ambassador’s residence, Winfield House in Regents Park.
Protesters outside mounted a “Keep Trump Awake” rally — banging pots, pans and drums and blowing vuvuzelas from 8pm.
But when an estimated 200,000 protesters meet for the “Together Against Trump March” in central London at 2pm today, he will be at Chequers for talks with Mrs May.
The Trumps then fly to Scotland to spend the weekend at his golf resorts in Turnberry and Aberdeen.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked Mrs May for inviting Mr Trump to Britain while “his dangerous and inhumane policies are putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk”.
Trump to meet ‘incredible’ Queen
DONALD Trump described the Queen as “a tremendous woman” ahead of their first meeting today.
The US President and wife Melania were due to have tea with the 92-year-old monarch at Windsor Castle this afternoon.
He told The Sun he was not nervous about it — but was in awe of Her Majesty’s flawless public service.
Mr Trump said: “She is a tremendous woman. I really look forward to meeting her. I think she represents her country so well.
“If you think of it, for so many years she has represented her country, she has really never made a mistake. You don’t see, like, anything embarrassing. She is just an incredible woman.
“My wife is a tremendous fan of hers. She has got a great and beautiful grace about her.”
Mr Trump’s Scottish-born mum Mary was an obsessive fan of the Queen, he said.
He added: “My mother loved the Queen. Any time the Queen was on television, my mother wanted to watch it.” Her Majesty will meet Mr Trump and the First Lady at the dais in the Quadrangle of the historic royal residence in Berkshire.
A guard of honour, comprised of the Coldstream Guards, will give a royal salute and US anthem The Star-Spangled Banner will be played.
Mr Trump and the Queen will then inspect the guard of honour and watch the soldiers march past.
Afterwards, The President and First Lady will join the Queen for tea inside the castle.
Her Majesty has met with previous White House couples including Barack and Michelle Obama, George W and Laura Bush, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
UK must up defence spending
THERESA May must listen to her generals and hike defence spending to keep the Special Relationship intact, said Mr Trump.
His Secretary of Defense asked the UK Government to go significantly above Nato’s minimum target of 2 per cent of GDP in funding for its military as the US’s major ally.
The President told The Sun he agrees with Jim Mattis “100 per cent”.
He added: “Two per cent isn’t enough. The US pays 4.2 per cent of a much larger GDP.
“I’m very impressed that Jim sent that letter. I think that is an exact right letter.”
Mr Trump defended himself against allies’ charges of blackmail over his demand for rapid rises in all 29 Nato member states’ defence budgets.
Asked if he was a bully, he said: “I’ll tell you what, we’ve had 40 years of presidents saying the same thing in a nicer way and they got nothing, so call it what you want.
“They’re taking advantage of the United States. I’m not going to let it happen.”
Mr Trump caused panic by implying he could pull the US out of Nato if other countries did not hike their contributions.
He was asked at a Brussels press conference if he had threatened to withdraw and replied: “I told people I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitment. Yesterday I let them know I was extremely unhappy.”
He insisted nations had finally agreed to increase expenditure, adding: “Everyone in the room thanked me.”
But French President Emmanuel Macron denied Nato allies had agreed a spending rise.
The US wants its Nato allies to share more of the financial burden on defence.
In 2014 Nato nations committed to moves toward reaching the 2 per cent of GDP figure within 10 years.
Nato estimated just 15 members will meet the aim by 2024 based on current trends.