Boris would make a “great prime minister”, Trump claims

PUBLISHED: 20:55 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 21:00 13 July 2018

Donald Trump with Theresa May at Chequers. Photograph: Jack Taylor/PA.

Donald Trump with Theresa May at Chequers. Photograph: Jack Taylor/PA.

Donald Trump has reiterated his belief that Boris Johnson would make a “great prime minister” - while standing next to Theresa May at her countyside home.

Donald Trump with Theresa May at Chequers. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.Donald Trump with Theresa May at Chequers. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

The US president’s comments came at a press conference at Chequers came after he told The Sun on Friday that Johnson has “got what it takes” to lead the UK.

He told reporters: “He’s been very nice to me. He’s been saying very good things about me as president.

“I think he thinks I’m doing a great job. I am doing a great job, I can tell you, just in case you haven’t noticed.

“Boris Johnson, I think, would be a great prime minister.”

Last night in an explosive interview with The Sun, Trump praised Johnson and said he would have carried out the Brexit negotiations “much differently” and claimed the prime minister did not listen to his advice.

He said: “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.

“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”

While stood next to the prime minister, Trump was asked whether his remarks in The Sun were appropriate.

He replied: “I didn’t criticise the prime minister. I have a lot of respect for the prime minister.

“Unfortunately there was a story that was done which was generally fine but it didn’t put in what I said about the Prime Minister. I said tremendous things.

“Fortunately we tend to record stories now so we have it for your enjoyment if you’d like it, but we record when we deal with reporters, it’s called fake news, we solve a lot of problems with the good old recording instrument.”

Trump went on to say he apologised to the prime minister over the interview.

He said: “She’s a total professional because when I saw her this morning I said, ‘I want to apologise because I said such good things about you’.

“She said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only the press’. I thought that was very professional.”

A spokesman for The Sun said: “We stand by our reporting and the quotes we used - including those where the president was positive about the Prime Minister, in both the paper and in our audio - and we’re delighted that the president essentially retracted his original charge against the paper later in the press conference.

“To say the president called us fake news with any serious intent is, well... fake news.”

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