Donald Trump insisted his relationship with Theresa May was “very, very strong” just hours after leaving the Prime Minister humiliated with an explosive assessment of her leadership.
The US president left Mrs May badly wounded when he criticised her negotiating style, lavished praise on Boris Johnson days after he walked out of Cabinet and warned her Brexit plan could “kill” any UK-US trade deal.
Mr Trump’s comments emerged as Mrs May pulled out all the stops to entertain the president and his wife Melania with an evening of pomp and ceremony at Blenheim Palace.
Speaking at Chequers, as the shockwaves continued to reverberate following his brutal assessment, Mr Trump insisted said he and Theresa May had “probably never developed a better relationship” than during the dinner on Thursday.
Seated alongside the PM at her official country residence in Buckinghamshire, Mr Trump said: “The relationship is very, very strong, we really have a very good relationship.”
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He added: “We had a dinner where I think we probably never developed a better relationship than last night. We spoke for an hour or an hour and a half and it was really something.”
The PM and the president arrived by helicopter at Chequers after a visit to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and will now be locked in hours of talks which will culminate in what promises to be an awkward press conference.
Mrs May said trade would be discussed during the meeting.
“We are going to be discussing the special relationship, which is great, between the UK and US,” she said.
“We are going to be discussing the real opportunities we have got to have this trade deal coming up when we leave the European Union.
“And of course, we will discuss foreign policy and defence and security issues, where we work really closely together with the US.”
Protesters took to the streets in London to demonstrate against the president’s visit - and in Parliament Square, a Trump baby blimp was raised up in the air.