President Trump’s visit to London this week was marked by his shocking criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May.
“I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” said Trump, referring to Brexit. “She wanted to go a different route. I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way.”
Trump was a vocal supporter of Brexit who after the results were announced compared the vote to the same populist forces that propelled him to victory in 2016.
His criticism of May comes just one week after Brexit negotiators agreed on a controversial proposal that calls for the UK to continue following EU rules for food and manufactured goods.
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned earlier this week, described the proposal as a “betrayal” of the vote to leave the EU.
Alongside his criticism of May, President Trump told reporters that Johnson would “be a great prime minister.” He also criticized London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, saying he had “done a very bad job on terrorism,” a “terrible job in London,” and a “bad job on crime.”
Trump’s insults couldn’t come at a worse time for May, who has been struggling to remain in power since her party lost the majority last June. And her stance on Brexit has only made matters worse.
The deal May is striking is a “much different deal than the one people voted on,” Trump told reporters. Such comments will boost May’s Conservative opponents (who want a cleaner break from the EU) and will undermine May’s claims that she intends to honor the hopes of “leave” voters.
Despite the insult, May will host Trump at her country estate on Friday. The two are expected to discuss a potential trade deal between the US and UK.
“As we prepare to leave the EU, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more,” said May. “It’s an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the US.”
On Monday, Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.