Interview: Trump's visit ruffles feathers, sets back UK-US special relationship

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Winfield House residence of the US Ambassador Woody Johnson left before boarding Marine One helicopter for the flight to Chequers in Buckinghamshire Friday

Donald Trump visibly annoyed by question over incendiary Brexit comments

In the incendiary interview, with the Sun newspaper, the U.S. leader criticised Mrs May's handling of Brexit negotiations, hailed Boris Johnson - who quit the cabinet earlier this week - as a future and "great Prime Minister" and said there was too much immigration in Europe.

Aside from being an epic breach of both diplomatic protocol and simple manners, Trump's interview brought other questions into sharp relief: can May survive if Brexit no longer holds the promise of a separate trade agreement with the United States?

May is facing a rebellion by Brexit hardliners against her proposals to retain strong trading ties with the European Union even after Britain leaves the bloc.

It prompted Mr Trump to say it made him "feel unwelcome" in the city, on his second day of a four-day United Kingdom visit. Trump changed his position from the criticism in The Sun interview.

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He said that May's new, softer approach to Brexit - which would leave Britain sticking to a "common rulebook" with Brussels on goods - would kill off the chances of a much sought-after U.S. -U.K. trade deal.

Parakilas said: "Trump has bizarrely called his own interview, which was on the record, fake news".

He had caused consternation in Downing Street with his claims Mrs May had ignored his advice and that her Brexit plans would "kill the deal". "I think the strategy here is for him to put out a bunch of statements, some of which are contradictory and some of which are nonsensical so that subsequently he can go back and pick the ones that are most useful at some future point and refer people to that". We have seen it before.

May pointed out that Trump, who was visiting Britain, had also advised that now she was in a negotiation, she should not walk away.

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"The reaffirmation of the British-U.S. relation we saw at the press conference will probably assuage some of the doubts we have seen about the status of the relationship", Parakilas said. After being prompted by a surprised Marr, May repeated: "Sue the European Union, not go into negotiations with them, sue them".

Trump is now staying at one of his luxury golf resorts in Turnberry, southwest of Glasgow, on a private part of the trip before heading for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Mr Trump is due to face a press conference later in the day.

"The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much".

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