Fact-Checking Trumps London Visit: Trade, Protests, Brexit – The New York Times

Fact-Checking Trump\s London Visit: Trade, Protests, Brexit - The New York Times
U.S. and U.K. could agree to phenomenal post-Brexit trade deal, Trump says in London World
One of the balloons depicting U.S. President Donald Trump as a baby was allegedly stabbed by a Trump supporter after a day of protests in London, U.K. on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Trump says U.K. protests were ‘small’ and ‘fake news,’ but pictures tell a different story

Trump said Britain and the U.S. would be able to strike a "phenomenal trade deal" once the U.K. had left the EU — music to the ears of pro-Brexit Britons. But, in words sure to alarm those in Britain concerned about Brexit, he said that "everything"– including the National Health Service — would be "on the table" in future trade negotiations. In a later interview that will air Wednesday on ITVs "Good Morning Britain," Trump appeared to back away from that idea, saying he didnt envision the health service being part of the talks, adding, "Thats not trade."

The protests included the iconic blimp, which made its first appearance during Trumps first state visit to the country in July 2018, along with smaller versions.

As the pageantry of Trumps British state visit gave way to politics, an economic meeting between the leaders at St. Jamess Palace brought together 10 leading companies — five from the U.K. and five from the United States. CEOs and senior representatives from BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, Bechtel and Splunk were listed as attending.

In a video obtained by the Sun, a U.K. tabloid, a woman walks up to one of the balloons and pops it allegedly using a knife.

A “Baby Trump” balloon floats during an anti-Trump protest in London, Britain, June 4, 2019.

"I still believe –I personally believe– that it is in the best interest of the U.K. to leave the European Union with a deal. I believe there is a good deal on the table," she said. "Obviously, it will be whoever succeeds me as prime minister to take this issue forward. What is paramount, I believe, is delivering on Brexit for the British people."

Donald Trump and Theresa May praise special relationship after day at Downing Street

The woman was identified as Amy Dalla Mura by local media outlets. She can be heard calling the balloon a disgrace.

Trump previously had voiced support for a "hard Brexit," which could have a devastating impact on the U.K. economy, according to many experts. That stands in contrast to a previous White House position that the departure should be as painless as possible. Others in the U.K. are pressing for a second referendum that could keep Britain in the EU.

Its a national disgrace, the president of the United States is the best president ever, she said.

Trump and his wife Melania arrived on Monday for a three-day state visit that included a banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

While the corporate leaders gathered, protesters began to assemble across London. Leaders of Britains main opposition party joined demonstrators at a rally in Trafalgar Square, just up the street from Mays Downing Street office. Also in Trafalgar Square: a 16-foot robotic likeness of Trump seated on a golden toilet.

Pictures show thousands of people on the streets of London’s Parliament Square with signs and costumes. But the protesters have been largely kept away from Trump, with roads closed around Buckingham Palace and Downing Street.

Throughout the protest, Trump had pockets of support. A few men wearing red caps with “Make America Great Again” walked among the crowd. Trump supporters said the protests were an insult to the leader of the United Kingdom’s most powerful ally.

LONDON — Making nice at the end, U.S. President Donald Trump eased up Tuesday on his frequent criticisms of outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May over her handling of the tortured Brexit deal, declaring that history will remember her fondly if the United Kingdom can successfully leave the European Union.

Moving from pageantry to policy during his state visit, President Donald Trump said the United States and the United Kingdom could agree to a "phenomenal" post-Brexit trade deal.

Trump said he would have "sued and settled, maybe, but you never know. Shes probably a better negotiator than I am." And he added that the deal May came away with was a good one and "perhaps you wont be given the credit you deserve."

"As the U.K. makes preparations to exit the European Union, the United States is committed to a phenomenal trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K.," Trump told a news conference on Tuesday during his state visit to London.

On a separate issue, Trump said he anticipated "no limitations" on the future sharing of intelligence with the U.K. as the U.S. continues to press its longtime ally to ban Chinese company Huawei amid espionage and trade concerns.

"There is tremendous potential in that trade deal — I say probably two and even three times of what we are doing right now."

Trump glossed over the protests, saying he saw "thousands of people in the streets cheering" and waving U.S. and U.K. flags, but just a "very, very small" group of protesters. "There was great love," he said.

Speaking alongside Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the "precious and profound" British-U.S. special relationship, but acknowledged differences with Trump on issues including climate change and Iran.

CBC's Renée Filippone discusses Trump and other topics with Daily Telegraph reporter Camilla Tominey:

The latest chapter in the allies storied "special relationship" played out as anti-Trump protesters — with the infamous Trump baby balloon bobbing overhead — thronged the streets of nearby central London.

Making nice at the end, Trump eased up on his frequent criticism of May over her handling of the tortured Brexit deal, declaring that history will remember her fondly if the U.K. can successfully leave the European Union.

The president's unexpected compliments for May come just days before she was set to resign the leadership of her party after failing to secure a Brexit deal. She will depart as prime minister once her successor has been chosen.

"I have greatly enjoyed working with you. You are a tremendous professional and a person who loves her country very much," Trump told May. But he couldn't resist a slight dig, evoking the two years of broadsides he had lobbed at her by recalling that he urged her to sue the EU rather than try to negotiate a departure.

Earlier in the day, Trump jokingly suggested that May "stick around" until a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal was brokered. May and her aides chuckled at that.

Trump said he would have "sued and settled, maybe, but you never know. She's probably a better negotiator than I am." And he added that the deal May came away with was a good one and "perhaps you won't be given the credit you deserve."

U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd R) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) are accompanied by Prince Andrew, Duke of York (L) and the Dean of Westminster, John Hall (2nd R) during a tour of Westminster Abbey on June 3.

May, who fought back tears when she announced her resignation last month, voiced hope her successor will be able to achieve Brexit.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth, First Lady Melania Trump, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at Buckingham Palace June 3, 2019.

"I still believe — I personally believe — that it is in the best interest of the U.K. to leave the European Union with a deal. I believe there is a good deal on the table," she said. "Obviously, it will be whoever succeeds me as prime minister to take this issue forward. What is paramount, I believe, is delivering on Brexit for the British people."

May mentioned the U.K.'s continued support for the Paris agreement on climate change, which Trump has repudiated. And she said the U.S. and Britain differ on how to limit the threat from Iran.

Queen Elizabeth II views a display of US items of the Royal collection with US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump at Buckingham Palace June 3, 2019.

The U.K. still supports an international agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the deal.

May also told the president that "co-operation and compromise are the basis of strong alliances."

Trump described the thousands of people who demonstrated in London against his visit to Britain as a "small protest." He said he only saw a small demonstration and media reports of the much larger protest amounted to "fake news."

U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend a business roundtable event at St. Jamess Palace, London, Britain June 4, 2019.

A giant inflatable blimp depicting Trump as a pouting baby in a diaper flew outside Parliament in London ahead of a major protest.

A message from U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump is seen in a guest book after they toured Westminster Abbey June 3, 2019.

"We're trying to remind the president how unwelcome he is in this country," said Leo Murray, 42, the co-creator of the six-metre-high blimp.

An effigy of US President Donald Trump is carried by protestors in London on June 4, the second day of Trumps three-day State Visit to the UK.

"We're also, in a lighthearted way, trying to articulate the strength of feeling against Donald Trump and his politics of hate," he said. "We want to put a smile on people's faces as well as make a serious point."

A pro-U.S. President Donald Trump supporter reacts after being hit with a milkshake during an anti-Trump rally in London.

The blimp, which was first used during Trump's visit to London last year, rose a few metres off the ground.

A supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump (L) clashes with an anti-Trump protester outside Buckingham Palace.

In central London, the leader of the U.K.'s opposition Labour Party joined tens of thousands of protesters in a "Carnival of Resistance" to voice their opposition to the president.

Jeremy Corbyn, who spoke at the rally after snubbing Monday night's banquet at Buckingham Palace, said it was an "opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he's attacked in America, around the world and in our own country."

PreviousNextHide captionToggle Fullscreen1 of 0Among those taking part will be environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women's rights protesters.

Trump called Corbyn a "negative force," and used the same term for London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The U.S. president met with the prime minister and corporate executives from the United States and United Kingdom as part of a day of negotiations ahead of a news conference on Trump's second day on British soil. The leaders' top priority is a possible bilateral trade deal to take effect once — or if — the U.K. leaves the EU.

The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31 unless both sides agree to an extension. Its position is in flux because May is stepping down as party leader Friday, setting in motion a race to succeed her as prime minister.

It is traditional for U.S. and other world leaders to not weigh in on another's domestic politics. But Trump hasn't let that stop him. Trump told the Sunday Times in an interview that Britain should "walk away" from talks and refuse to pay a $49 billion US divorce bill if it doesn't get better terms from the EU.

The president also said Brexit party leader Nigel Farage, an outspoken advocate of leaving the EU without a deal, should be given a role in the negotiations.

Trump also took the unusual step of saying that Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson would make an "excellent" leader for Britain.

Trump on Tuesday called Johnson and offered a one-to-one meeting. Johnson declined the invitation as he had to focus on meeting Conservative Party lawmakers who will vote on who they want to be the next prime minister, a source told Reuters.

The president understood the situation and said he looked forward to catching up at a later date, the source said. Their call lasted for around 20 minutes, the source added.

The meeting with business leaders at St. James's Palace brought together 10 leading companies — five from the U.K. and five from the United States. They explored where co-operation could benefit both sides.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.