AT-A-GLANCE: All the times that Donald Trump has waded in to UK politics
Boris Johnson has asked Donald Trump not to comment on the election during his visit to the UK for the Nato summit, fearing he could give Labour's campaign a boost. Eleanor Langford looks at the previous occasions when he was more than happy to comment on UK politics.
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage are friends, and the Brexit Party leader has often made use of that relationship. He persuaded the President to phone into his LBC show back in October, and much was said.
Trump endorsed a Conservative/Brexit Party pact, claiming the two parties would make “an unstoppable force”. Farage was keen to take up Trump's suggestion, proposing an election pact to CCHQ. His offer was politely declined, but that didn’t stop Farage standing down in over 300 Tory-held seats anyway.
Trump also managed to annoy Theresa May by suggesting Farage should be made ambassador to the US shortly after he entered the White House.
'BAD PLACES' WITH CORBYN
Trump is certainly not a fan of Jeremy Corbyn, and has not been slow at making his views known about the Labour leader. During the aforementioned LBC interview with Farage, he said: "Corbyn would be so bad for your country, he’d be so bad, he’d take you in such a bad way. He’d take you into such bad places. But your country has tremendous potential, it’s a great country."
Boris Johnson, on the other hand, was “the exact right guy for the times” according to Trump. Corbyn wasn’t impressed, accusing the President on Twitter of “trying to interfere in Britain’s election to get his friend Boris Johnson elected”.
This wasn’t the first time Trump had spoken of his admiration for Boris Johnson. In August, he tweeted that it “would be very hard” for Corbyn to call a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister. He added: “Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!”
BREXIT DOS AND DON’TS
In an interview with The Sun in July 2018, Trump had plenty to say about Theresa May’s doomed Brexit agreement, claiming it would make a UK-US trade deal impossible.
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. The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on.”
And, in a July 2019 tweet, the POTUS also said: “I have been very critical about the way the UK and prime minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.”
TRUMP VS SADIQ
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan really annoys the President. The pair's long-running feud started after the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017, with Trump tweeting: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”
Khan was unfazed, with a spokesperson telling the press that the mayor had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks”.
Since then, Trump has had plenty of views on Khan and his city. Minutes before landing in the UK for his June 2019 state visit, the President took the time to hit back at a critical op-ed Khan had written about him.
He branded Khan as a “stone cold loser” who had done “a terrible job as Mayor of London”. Jibes were also made about the Mayor’s height, as well as his record on crime in the capital. Later on the same trip, he tweeted more insults at Khan, calling him a “disaster” and a “national disgrace who is destroying the City of London”.
Trump also attracted criticism in May 2018 when he told the National Rifle Association (NRA) that London was like a “war zone” due to knife crime.
NHS TRADE TALKS
The President seems to have trouble remembering whether the NHS is on the table, off the table, or somewhere near the table in UK-US trade talks. In a joint press conference with Theresa May in June 2019, he said: “When you’re dealing on trade, everything is on the table — so NHS or anything else, and a lot more than that.”
It didn’t take Trump long to backtrack on this comment. On the same day, he told Piers Morgan: “I don’t see it being on the table. That’s something I would not consider part of trade. That’s not trade.”
And again, Trump said on Tuesday that the NHS wasn’t part of trade talks, and that the US wouldn’t wanted even if it was handed to them on a “silver platter”. “I don’t even know where that rumour started,” he claimed.
Trump has previously been critical of the NHS, tweeting in February 2018 that the NHS was “going broke and not working”.
Trump doesn’t just get involved with party leaders, he also had strong words for the UK’s ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, earlier this year. In July, leaked emails showed he had called the Trump administration “clumsy and inept”, among other things.
The President’s response was to call Darroch a “wacky ambassador” and a “very stupid guy”, adding that the US would no longer deal with him. Theresa May stood by Sir Kim, and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the comments “disrespectful”. Amid mounting political pressure, the ambassador eventually stood down.
British politicians have also had strong views on Trump’s past anti-Muslim comments. In October 2017, he tweeted: “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13 per cent annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ Not good, we must keep America safe!”
His tweet was odd, considering the 13% rise had been attributed to a rise in sexual offences and knife crime. Some viewed Trump as part of the problem, with Labour MP Yvette Cooper tweeting: "Hate crime in UK up 29 per cent - sadly encouraged by ignorant tweets like this. Not good POTUS."
Trump - who has previously said the UK has “a massive Muslim problem” - also came under fire for retweeting a videos from Britan First leader Jayda Fransen that targeted Muslims. The retweets came days after Ms Fransen was arrested over a speech made at a rally in Belfast.
BONUS: WIND FARMS
Prior to his Presidency, Trump still liked to get involved in UK politics. His topic of choice? Wind farms. He really doesn’t like wind farms, mainly because they spoil the view from his Scottish golf course.
In 2014, he tweeted: “[email protected]_Cameron As Prime Minister, why are you spending vast amounts of money to subsidize ugly wind turbines in Scotland that nobody wants?”
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