President Donald Trump said Thursday that he and British Prime Minister Theresa May have “a really great relationship,” an assurance offered in the wake of a relatively rocky patch in the historically close “special relationship” between the two nations.
“It's an honor to be with Prime Minister May, and we've had a great discussion. We're on the same wavelength, I think on every respect,” Trump said at the top of a bilateral meeting with May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The prime minister and myself have had a really great relationship, although some people don't necessarily believe that, but I can tell you, I have a tremendous respect for the prime minister and the job she's doing. And I think the feeling is mutual from the standpoint of liking each other a lot.”
The president’s face-to-face meeting with his British counterpart comes two weeks after he abruptly announced on Twitter that he had cancelled a planned trip to London. Trump blamed the cancellation on his predecessor, President Barack Obama, writing online that the Obama administration had made a “bad deal” in relocating the U.S. embassy in London even though that decision had been made by former President George W. Bush.
Trump’s visit to Great Britain had yet to be announced but was expected next month. The president’s arrival was also expected to prompt significant protests in London.
May and Trump both said talk was ongoing about a rescheduled visit by the U.S. president.
Trump also irked some in Britain when he retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of the ultranationalist, far-right group Britain First. A spokesman for May said at the time that “It is wrong for the president to have done this” and that Britain First relies on "hate-filled narratives to peddle lies and stoke tensions."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, against whom Trump has previously directed his online ire, said after the online posts that his nation should not welcome a visit from the president.
“There was a little bit of a false rumor out there. I just wanted to correct it, because we have great respect for everything you're doing, and we love your country because it's really great,” Trump said, adding that the two nations are “joined at the hip” militarily. “We have the same ideas, the same ideals, and there's nothing that would happen to you that we won't be there to fight for you. You know that.”