WATCH: Donald Trump accuses The Sun of 'fake news' and insists US-UK trade deal 'absolutely possible'

Posted On: 
13th July 2018

Donald Trump has insisted it “will absolutely be possible” for the UK and US to strike a free trade deal after Brexit - as he branded an interview in which he said the opposite “fake news”.

Donald Trump and Theresa May head towards their press conference at Chequers
Credit: 
PA Images

Just hours after The Sun revealed he had blasted the Brexit plan put forward by Theresa May, he told her: “Whatever you do is OK with me."

At an extraordinary press conference after the pair held talks at Chequers, President Trump also insisted that the relationship between Britain and America was "the highest level of special", despite his earlier attack.

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In his Sun interview, the President said the Prime Minister had "probably killed" any hopes of a free trade deal between the two countries by ignoring his advice to go for a clean break with the EU.

But during the press conference, he argued the interview was “fake news” as he insisted the two nations would be free to strike a deal after Brexit.

"I read reports that said that won’t be possible," he said. "But I believe after speaking with the PM’s people and representatives and trade experts it will absolutely be possible.

"Once the Brexit process is concluded and perhaps the UK has left the EU, I don’t know what they’re gonna do, but whatever you do is OK with me.

“That’s your decision. Whatever you’re gonna do is okay with us - just make sure we can trade together, that’s all that matters."

He added: “The United States looks forward to finalising a great bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This is an incredibly opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it fully.”

'FAKE NEWS'

President Trump's fake news blast came as he accused The Sun of leaving out his praise for the Prime Minister in its story - a claim that was itself was untrue.

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

“Fortunately we tend to record stories now. So we have it for your enjoyment if you’d like. But we record when we deal with reporters. It’s called fake news.”

Afterwards he was forced to backtrack on his claims about the Sun, after its political editor Tom Newton Dunn insisted the praise for the Prime Minister had been included.

“I thought they didn’t put it in - they didn’t put it in the headline,” Mr Trump added.

Responding to Mr Trump's comments about The Sun, a spokesman for the newspaper 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."

'HIGHEST LEVEL OF SPECIAL'

Elsewhere in the press conference, the President said: “I give our relationship, in terms of grade, the highest level of special…

“Now, am I allowed to go higher than that I am not sure. But it is the highest level of special. They are very special people. It is a very special country.”

Mrs May meanwhile said: “We agreed today that as the UK leaves the EU we will pursue an ambitious US UK free trade agreement.

“The Chequers agreement reached last week provides the platform for Donald and me to reach an ambitious deal that works for both countries right across our economies.”

BORIS JOHNSON

Elsewhere, President Trump doubled down on comments in the Sun interview in which he heaped praise on Boris Johnson - who quit as Foreign Secretary on Monday over the PM’s Brexit plan.

As Mrs May stood awkwardly beside him and at one point appeared to grimace, he said: "He’s been saying very good things about me as President. I think he thinks I’m doing a great job... But Boris, I think would be a great Prime Minister."

Turning to Mrs May, he added: “This incredible woman, right here, is doing a fantastic job a great job. And I mean that.”