Donald Trump sought to charm May from the outset, showing her the bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he’s using to decorate the Oval Office.
President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have proved their worth by confronting a curious world gathered for the first time on Friday, pledging to respect the special relations between their countries while trying to mask the glaring discrepancies Issues. It was the first meeting of the White House in Trump with a foreign head of state, a confab discretely organized precisely one week after the businessman and star of reality TV, which is largely unknown to the Public, take an oath.
Trump sought to charm from the very beginning, showing him the bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he used to decorate the Oval Office. He then opened a joint press conference noting that his deceased mother was born in “Stornoway, which is serious in Scotland.” Scotland is part of Great Britain. Trump and May were seen briefly holding hands as they walked along the White House colonnade after leaving the Oval Office. Their talks continued in the state dining room over an iceberg corner salad breakfast, short ribs of braised beef with mashed potatoes and salted caramel cream.
For his part, May congratulated Donald Trump for his “stunning election victory,” and announced that he had accepted the Queen’s invitation for a state visit with his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, later this year. But attempts at mutual flattery did not completely dissimulate the differences of leaders over certain issues, including NATO and Russia.
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She tried to push Trump to positions she supports, noting that he had assured him that he was “100 percent” behind NATO, a global body he rejected as “obsolete.” Trump did not contradict May by answering questions from reporters in the White House room. May also took a firmer stance on sanctions against Russia.
Trump said he was “very early to talk about this.” He said sanctions should remain until a 2015 ceasefire agreement for Ukraine is fully implemented.
Trump was less critical of Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin, than its predecessor and some legislators, including Republican comrade. He questioned the results of US investigations that Russia would have participated in the presidential election to help it win the White House and praised Putin’s leadership. Trump’s position fueled speculation that it could alleviate or remove sanctions against Russia.
Trump also reiterated his belief that torture works. Great Britain takes a vocal position against it. The appearance alongside May was more pleasant than Trump’s last public appearance with a foreign leader: a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last August. Trump was more severe and serious then, and read long prepared remarks.
Coincidentally, Donald Trump and May met one day after Pena Nieto canceled his own trip to Washington next week during a disagreement with Trump on which of their countries will pay for the wall that Trump wants to build along the border Between the United States and Mexico. Trump says that Mexico will pay; Mexico says it will not. Trump is a bit of a mystery to world leaders, many of whom were waiting for Democrat Hillary Clinton to win the election. They also do not know the main interlocutors of his administration with foreign governments, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior advisor Steve Bannon, a conservative media executive.
So May was on a bit of a scouting mission. She has strong reasons to want the relationship to work. Great Britain will emerge from the European Union and its single market of 500 million people and is looking forward to a bilateral trade agreement with the United States. The United States is the largest export market of Great Britain.
Trump drew parallels between the British choice to leave the EU and its own success, using the Brexit vote last June to strengthen its derision of the bloc of 28 countries and its preference for bilateral strike agreements. Often combative in the presence of journalists, Trump seemed relaxed and humorous alongside May. At one point, after a British journalist asked if people should be alarmed by his past statements, Trump joked, “Is that your choice of a question? That is the relationship. “
He supported May’s determination to make Britain strong and prosperous once he left the European Union, saying he thought Brexit would be “a tremendous asset and not a huge responsibility.” And when asked if the two very different leaders had found common ground, they had. “I think we’re going to get along,” he said. “I am a people. I think you are also, Therese.