Donald Trump accuses The Sun of ‘fake news’ and insists whatever Theresa May does with Brexit ‘is ok with me’
Speaking alongside her at Chequers, the president said: “I didn’t criticise the prime minister, I have a lot of respect the prime minister.”
Mr Trump also stepped back from his warning, in The Sun, that her Brexit plan would “kill” any trade deal – as long as there were no “restrictions”.
However, to her discomfort, Mr Trump confirmed he had given her a “suggestion” on how to pursue Brexit – while rejecting the word “advice” – saying: “I think she found it too brutal.”
In a comment certain to be leapt on by Brexiteer MPs, he added: “I can fully understand why she thought it was a little bit tough” – even suggesting she might yet adopt it, if her own plan failed. Mr Trump refused to reveal his “suggestion”, but denied it was to collapse the talks if necessary, saying: “You can’t walk away because, if she walks away, that means she’s stuck.”
Bizarrely, he also claimed he had visited Britain the day before the 2016 referendum and correctly predicted the Leave vote – even though he arrived a day later.
He then claimed he had told the prime minister: “I want to apologise,” – prompting her to reply: “Don’t worry, it’s only the press.”