On the second day of President Trump’s trip to the U.K., he left behind the royals and headed to Downing Street for a meeting with outgoing prime minister Theresa May. The first foreign leader to visit Trump at the White House in early 2017, May returned the favor by inviting him for a state visit, angering many Britons. The trip was delayed — though Trump did make a “working visit” to the U.K. last summer — but now the president is getting the pomp he desired (minus the carriage ride). Many Brits still aren’t happy to be hosting the U.S. president, and the Trump-May press conference on Tuesday showcased some of the reasons why. Here, some of the weirdest moments.
Trump kept trash-talking London mayor Sadiq Khan
Trump started going after Khan before he even landed in the U.K., responding to an op-ed from the London mayor with a tweet calling him a “stone cold loser.” At today’s presser, Trump doubled down, calling Khan a “not very good mayor” who has allowed crime to flourish.
“He’s a negative force, not a positive force,” Trump said.
Trump revealed that he blew off Jeremy Corbyn
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wanted to meet with Trump during the president’s U.K. visit, and Trump turned him down. Why? Because Corbyn too is a “negative force.”
“I really don’t like critics as much as I like and respect people that can get things done,” he said.
Trump called London protests “fake news”
Trump insisted that he’s seen thousands of people on the streets cheering for him in London, both today and yesterday. Though he did admit to seeing some protesters, he said they were “very, very small.” Here is one of the “very, very small” protests in Trafalgar Square.
Trump said the NHS “is on the table” in U.S.-U.K. trade talks
As the U.S. and U.K. work on a post-Brexit trade deal, Trump said the NHS is “on the table” in trade talks, but only after May whispered to him what it is. “It’s our national health service,” she said.
The implication here is that in order for the U.K. to gain access to U.S. markets, the National Health Service will have to be opened up to private U.S. health-care companies.
In response, May seemed to suggest that she wouldn’t go that far without actually saying it. “The point about making trade deals of course is that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal for the future,” she said.
May said Trump told her to sue the E.U.
In response to a question about whether the U.K. will reach a Brexit deal with the European Union, May said Trump’s advice was to sue. Trump responded: “I would have sued, and settled maybe, but you never know.”
This isn’t the first time Trump’s expressed this idea, which doesn’t make much sense. As the New York Times noted last year when May first told a reporter of Trump’s advice: “Mrs. May did not provide details of what sort of legal case the American president had in mind, and it was not immediately clear what practical effects such an intervention would have.”