Trump and UK Prime Minister May talk Iran, Brexit, trade at joint news conference

Tuesday - 04/06/2019 11:18
Trump and UK Prime Minister May talk Iran, Brexit, trade at joint news conference




U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the importance of the U.S.- U.K. "special relationship" in dealing with Iran, but noted "we stand by the nuclear deal" at a joint news conference on Tuesday with President Donald Trump.

"We can also differ sometimes on how to confront the challenges we face," May said as both leaders noted the importance of their alliance as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion approaches.
 

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Britains Prime Minister Theresa May give a joint press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, June 4, 2019.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May give a joint press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, June 4, 2019.
 


“I’ve always talked openly with you, Donald, when we have taken a different approach and you've done the same with me,” May said to Trump, also highlighting their differences on dealing with climate change on the second day of his visit.
 

 

Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal a year ago, said the two nations must keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. "I believe that will happen," said Trump.
 

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Britains Prime Minister Theresa May give a joint press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, June 4, 2019.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May give a joint press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, June 4, 2019.
 


The president also was optimistic about a trade deal between the two countries in the wake Brexit, which he said "should happen."

"We're going to have a great and comprehensive trade deal," the president said. Responding to reports that the U.S. wants private American companies to compete with the U.K.'s National Health Service, Trump said, “Look, I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you're dealing on trade everything is on the table. So NHS or anything else. A lot more than that. But everything will be on the table, absolutely.”

May quickly jumped in to say the U.K. would negotiate a trade deal only in the nation's best interests.

May noted that she had declined Trump's advice to sue over Brexit and still had gotten a good result.

"I would have sued and settled," he said. "She's probably a better negotiator than I am," Trump continued. "I think you deserve a lot of credit," in contrast to his earlier harsh criticism of how May had handled the issue. He called her "tremendous" as both leaders complimented each other in a mostly-friendly exchange.

   

Delving into U.K. domestic politics when asked about his phone call with Boris Johnson, a possible successor to May as prime minister, Trump said, "I know Boris, I've liked him for a long time, I think he'd do a good job. "

Trump said he hadn't seen much in the way of protests, including one featuring a giant "Trump baby" balloon. One was led by Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom Trump said he had turned down when he requested a meeting. Trump said he had seen only a "small" protest," calling news reports about large protests "fake news."

(MORE: 'Trump baby' blimp takes to the sky as mass protests of US president begin in London )

He also called London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, with whom he has a running feud, "a negative force, not a positive force" who "hurts the people of this great country."

   

On Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexico, the president pushed back on reports congressional Republicans might try to block them.

"I think, if they do, it's foolish, Trump said. "Mexico should step up and stop this invasion of our country," he added, saying he would carry out his threat to impose the tariffs beginning next Monday, June 10.

Trump also said the two nations would continue to share intelligence despite differences over how to treat the Chinese tech company Huawei, which the U.S. views as a spying threat.

The two leaders came from a meeting earlier at 10 Downing Street where they continued discussions about a post-Brexit trade deal.

First lady Melania Trump looked on from the first row and other Trump family members, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric and Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump watched from the second row.

May is set to step down as her party's leader at the end of this week, and earlier Tuesday President Trump joked about the timing of her departure saying she should "stick around" to make a U.S.-U.K. bilateral trade deal.

"I don’t know exactly what your timing is but stick around let’s do this deal," Trump said to the outgoing prime minister -- seemingly in jest -- in remarks before cameras at the beginning of a roundtable with U.S. and U.K. businesses.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Theresa May and husband Philip May welcome President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to 10 Downing Street, during the second day of his State Visit, June 4, 2019, in London.
Leon Neal/Getty Images
Prime Minister Theresa May and husband Philip May welcome President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to 10 Downing Street, during the second day of his State Visit, June 4, 2019, in London.
 


The second day of Trump's state visit was being filled with more official business than ceremony, with his meeting with May and business leaders to discuss trade and other matters.

(MORE: 5 things to watch on Trump’s trip to Europe )

The president’s visit comes at a particularly awkward moment for May, who announced her resignation last Friday and is set to officially step down as the Conservative Party leader on June 7, just a few days after the president’s visit.

PHOTO: A pro-Brexit activist holds a placard reading We Voted For Independence as an anti-brexit campaigner waves an European Union and a Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 21, 2019.
Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
A pro-Brexit activist holds a placard reading "We Voted For Independence" as an anti-brexit campaigner waves an European Union and a Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 21, 2019.
 


The day began with business. President Trump attended a business breakfast meeting at St. James’s Palace co-hosted by May that brought together major U.S. and U.K. business leaders.

The president expressed confidence that the two allies will ultimately reach a "substantial" and "fair" trade deal.

"I think we’ll have a very very substantial trade deal, it will be a very fair deal," Trump said. "This is something my folks want to do, your folks want to do, and we’ll get it done."

In the meeting with U.S. and U.K. businesses, the president praised the strong trade relationship that already exists between the two countries and predicted that there is a "great opportunity to tremendously expand that relationship."

(MORE: UK democracy 'all but dead,' Donald Trump Jr. writes on Brexit )

Trump also praised what he said has been an "outstanding" relationship with May, saying he "very much appreciate[s] the relationship we’ve had."

Yet, the persistent uncertainty around Brexit loomed at the breakfast. While the president has expressed his hopes for negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the U.K., the president’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. is waiting for the U.K.’s planned exit from the EU to occur first.

“President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain. It’s what the people voted for in 2016, and when they get out, whether it’s now, April 12 or later, we’ll be standing right there waiting for them,” Bolton said in a recent interview with Reuters.

(MORE: Trump gets the royal treatment with state visit to the United Kingdom )

In the evening, the president and first lady will reciprocate the hospitality of their British hosts with a dinner hosted at Winfield House. Prince Charles and Camilla will attend the dinner in the queen’s place, according to the palace.

 Keywords: Donald Trump, Brexit, U.K

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article

  Reader Comments

Newer articles

Older articles

In Case You Missed it

Advertisement

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second