Donald Trump describes Boris Johnson as future PM and attacks Sadiq Khan
Trump also laid into Theresa May's Brexit plans within hours of arriving in the country
Donald Trump has used his first press interview during his visit to the UK to lay into Theresa May's plans for Brexit and hail Boris Johnson as a future prime minister, as well as continuing his war of words with London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Speaking with The Sun newspaper after arriving in the country yesterday, Trump described Johnson as “a very talented guy” for whom he had “a lot of respect”. And, although he insisted he was not trying to pit Johnson against May, he added: “I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
Trump also used the interview to launch an attack on Theresa May's plans for Brexit which were unveiled in full yesterday and indicate a willingness on the UK's part to keep customs borders open with the EU. Responding to this, 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.”
Despite his resignation as foreign secretary earlier this week, it has been touted that Trump could meet with Boris Johnson during his UK trip, with the president saying “obviously likes me, and says very good things about me. I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point. I think he is a great representative for your country.”
Trump also reignited his feud with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has repeatedly blamed for terrorism and personally blamed for immigration into the capital, despite the mayor having no control over immigration policy.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London,” Trump said, before referring directly to Khan: “I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism. I think he has done a bad job on crime, if you look, all of the horrible things going on there, with all of the crime that is being brought in.”
He added: “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I look at cities in Europe, and I can be specific if you’d like. You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job.”
Ahead of the US leader's visit, Khan gave permission for a 20-foot-tall "Trump Baby" blimp to be flown above Parliament Square which Trump said made him feel "unwelcome" in London.
An estimated 200,000 people are expected to participate in protests during the US leader's visit to Britain, the largest of which is expected to begin at 2pm this afternoon. The flying of the "Trump Baby" blimp was funded via a crowdfunding project with over £30,000 having been raised so far.