Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Rolls Out The Red Carpet. In Return, Trump Comes Very Close To Suggesting She Be Removed From Office
Trump arriving in Britain like a wrecking ball. Coming down hard on May for her handling of Brexit:
“I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me. She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”
Then in almost the same breath, Trump appears to endorse former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who recently resigned in a fit of political posturing. Johnson had an excellent shot at becoming Prime Minister when Brexit first passed, but said he didn’t want it.
“[Johnson would be] a great Prime Minister. I have a lot of respect for Boris. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me.”
The overall issue Trump is referring to, in an explosive interview published this morning in the Murdoch-owned British tabloid The Sun, is May’s far more pragmatic approach to Brexit recently, called “soft Brexit”, where Britain would still leave the European Union, but economic agreements would by-and-large not be derailed and in most cases not changed very much at all.
That’s caused a furor among hard-core Brexit proponents like Johnson, who want a more complete (and potentially more economically perilous) separation. And if they get their way, there is a very real possibility May will be ousted. Trump appears to envision himself as one of that bunch, as he again took some personal credit for Britain’s departure from the European Union because he “called” Brexit, and President Obama got it wrong.
And Trump says if Britain does it May’s way and not his way, he threatens a promised unilateral U.K.-U.S. trade deal is as good as dead.
We’ve been somewhat skeptical of the contention Trump’s misogyny taints his relationships with female heads-of-government . That’s because we felt his naked animosity toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel had more to do with her closeness to President Obama. Now we’re seriously rethinking that.
At any rate, the White House quickly scrambled to do damage control. Presidential Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders putting out this statement (via the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey):
Here’s a link to Trump’s full interview in The Sun, which is quite lengthy and far-ranging. And the deeper down you go, you’ll find less politically relevant, but nonetheless extremely odd pronouncements by the President:
• Upon receiving a gift of an England soccer team Jersey, Trump vamps: “You don’t hear the word ‘England’ as much as you should….I think ‘England’ is a beautiful name“.
• The gigantic 20 foot crowdfunded balloon flying over Parliament Square that depicts Trump as a big baby is apparently having the desired effect. Trump saying “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London”.
• Trump also boasts about his popularity, despite plans for sizeable protests in the U.K., saying: “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“. We were curious about that because we didn’t know that Presidential popularity polls existed in Lincoln’s time, so we spent some time doing a fair amount of research into it. And guess what? As far as we can tell, they didn’t!