The ITV News at Ten reported on the US president’s arrival in the UK in a comical style, as Trump provided light relief from the general election campaigning.
Viewers were left scratching their head whether they were watching the news or a comedy as presenter Tom Bradby introduced the programme with his usual satirical tone.
He said: “We should know by now what president Trump says and what he does are not necessarily the same thing, or even for that matter, related.
“Over here for a NATO 70th anniversary celebration, so strictly nonpolitical, he said he would stay out of the British general election. You can probably see where this is going already.”
Bradby went on to explain how Donald Trump had said Boris Johnson was doing a “good job”, and how he wouldn’t accept the NHS if it was handed to him “on a silver platter”.
A news report presented by Robert Peston went on to show Trump on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, questioning where Boris Johnson was.
As they played a clip of Trump saying he would stay out of the election, Peston told viewers: “‘Phew’, Johnson probably said… but he couldn’t quite resist the name drop.”
The reporter went on to remind viewers that the rumour about the NHS had started with the US president saying that the health service would be on the table in a post-Brexit trade deal, playing the original clip to re-emphasise their point.
It also featured protesters singing Christmas carols with lyrics mocking Donald Trump.
Peston summised that Wednesday would bring another day of headlines for the president, concluding that “I can’t imagine that Trump will be quiet and uncontroversial”.
Bradby went on to say “chance would be a fine thing” before introducing the second report.
He said: “We’ve all been to joint birthday parties where the hosts end up squabbling. They’re related too.”
He pointed out how the meeting became a “row” between French president Macron and the US president after Macron described NATO as “brain dead”.
“That’s not at all upping the ante on political language,” said the presenter.
Viewers welcomed the different take on the day’s events.
“ITV News just called Trump out for his hypocrisy and I’m here for it,” said one.
“I honestly had to check I was watching the news, not a satire on the news,” wrote CM Rosens.
“ITV News’ beat down of Trump on the 10.30pm news is EVERYTHING,” tweeted another. “No room for Trump or Boris to breathe. As they should. Think they realised that like all news, they were pandering to the Tories, but alas, we’ll take the win.”