Donald Trump delivered a snub to his host Theresa May, who hours before had laid on a prestigious dinner for the US president at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
In an extraordinary interview with a British newspaper, Mr Trump said that the PM’s plans for a soft Brexit would end any hopes of a trade deal with the US and suggested that former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who quit her cabinet earlier this week, would be a better leader than Mrs May.
“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” Mr Trump told The Sun. “If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”
He criticised Mrs May for the way she handled negotiations over Brexit negotiations, saying “she didn’t listen to me” and that the deal she is pursuing “is not what the people voted on” and will affect trade with the US “in a negative way”.
Mr Trump lavished praise on Mr Johnson, saying he has “got what it takes and I think he has got the right attitude to be a great prime minister.
“I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country.”
The president also returned to his feud with the London mayor Sadiq Khan, who he previously sparred with via Twitter in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on London in 2017.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism,” the president said.
“I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the horrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in,” he said.
Referring to planned protests in the city on Friday, which will see a blimp flown of the president portrayed as a baby in a nappy, Mr Trump added: “I think [the mayor] has not been hospitable to a government that is very important. Now he might not like the current president, but I represent the United States.”
He also referenced immigration into Europe, saying: “I think what has happened to Europe is a shame. Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame.
“I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”