LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May and United States President Donald Trump attended a military parade at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in southern England on Friday, their first meeting after a tabloid newspaper published a contentious interview with the American head of state.
Trump’s official Marine One helicopter took off from Winfield House, the US Ambassador’s residence in London, and was seen flying into the academy in the English county of Berkshire, where May welcomed him.
Trump, who is on a three-day working visit to the UK and first trip to the country as US president, was accompanied aboard the helicopter by his collaborators John Kelly and John Bolton, as well as Ambassador Woody Johnson.
It was the first time May and Trump saw each other after a gala banquet the previous evening at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and since the newspaper, The Sun, published his interview in which he was very critical of his hostess.
The interview, published in Friday’s edition of the publication owned by Australian-American news tycoon Rupert Murdoch, was heavily criticized by British lawmakers of all parties and added more vitriol to large anti-Trump protests taking place in London, and across the UK.
In the interview, Trump said May had ignored his advice on how to negotiate the UK’s departure from the European Union.
“I told May how to do Brexit but she didn’t listen to me,” Trump told The Sun.
He added that maintaining close ties with the EU would likely scupper lucrative trade deals with the US.
“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,” Trump said.
The Sandhurst meeting was closed to the press and public but opened the second day of Trump’s visit to the UK with his wife, Melania.
Following the end of the military event, May and Trump met again and shook hands at the beginning of a bilateral meeting at Chequers, the PM’s official country residence, some 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of London.
Trump was then due to have tea with Queen Elizabeth II at her Windsor Castle country estate.