President Trump says United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would make a “great prime minister” in an interview published Thursday, a shocking remark that Trump made during his visit with current Prime Minister Theresa May.
In an interview with The Sun, Trump tried to deflect criticism by telling a reporter that he was not “pitting” Johnson against May. But Trump also said that Johnson “obviously likes” him and that he has “a lot of respect” for the former London mayor, who resigned as foreign secretary amid deep-seated differences with May over her strategy for the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.
In his resignation letter, Johnson railed against May’s strategy, warning that the U.K. is “truly headed for the status of colony.”
The U.K. revealed the long-awaited white paper this detailing its plan for a long-term relationship with the E.U. The U.K. is officially set to leave the 28-country union by March 2019.
In his interview with The Sun, Trump was also deeply critical of May’s approach to Brexit. He said that the prime minister’s plan would likely “kill” the potential for a trade deal with the U.S. and boasted that he had told May how to negotiate an exit plan for the U.K.
“She didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” Trump complained.
“I have a lot of respect for Boris,” Trump told British newspaper The Sun before he arrived in the U.K. “He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me.”
The funny thing is that in spite of the praise Trump has lavished on Johnson, the praise has not been reciprocated. Johnson has criticized Trump as the “anti-immigration president.”
Trump was heavily criticized in British media after which Trump tried to explain away by calling the report “fake news”. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to back peddle by saying :
“As he said in his interview with the Sun [May] ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her.’” “He thought she was great on NATO today and is a really terrific person.”
“He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the Prime Minister here in the U.K.”