Donald Trump has discussed his private conversation with the Queen whom, as well as being “beautiful inside and out”, thinks Brexit is “a very complex problem”.
Speaking to TV host Piers Morgan in an interview published by the Mail on Sunday ahead of broadcast on ITV, the US president repeated his claim that he had given the prime minister, Theresa May, an “option” to give the UK an advantage over the European Union in Brexit talks. He would not say what that option was.
He also said he had told May to get a “carve out” in any agreement with the EU, to make possible a trade deal with the US.
‘We would make a great deal with the United Kingdom because they have product that we like,” Trump said. “I mean they have a lot of great product. They make phenomenal things, you know, and you have different names – you can say ‘England’, you can say ‘UK’, you can say ‘United Kingdom’ … the fact is you make great product, you make great things. Even your farm product is so fantastic.”
Asked about mass protests against him in London on Friday, the day of the interview, Trump insisted: “‘Some of them are protesting in my favour, you know that? There are many, many protests in my favour.”
The president also answered questions on issues such as the North Korean talks, abortion and immigration. He also confirmed he would run again for the White House in 2020, expecting to win a second term.
Morgan, who said he knew and liked Trump and his wife, Melania, noted inaccuracies in Trump’s answers but did not press his subject. Though Trump was asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, whom he will meet in Helsinki on Monday, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller of Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged collusion by Trump aides was not mentioned in the published text.
Mueller indicted 12 Russians on Friday, prompting angry tweets from the president before and after a round of golf on Saturday. Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, told the Guardian that an American cited in relation to Russian efforts detailed by Mueller was “probably” him.
Morgan’s interview was not so incendiary as the one Trump gave to the Sun on Thursday, ahead of meetings with May. Then, Trump criticised her handling of Brexit talks and said Boris Johnson would make a good prime minister. Johnson, a leading pro-Brexit voice, resigned as foreign secretary on Monday.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, also published on Saturday, the former White House strategist and leading voice of the US far right Steve Bannon repeated the claim and compared Johnson to Trump.
Trump enthused about his reception at Windsor Castle on Friday, where he and Melania spent 45 minutes with the Queen.
“It was a very easy talk,” he said. “You know, it’s hard to talk to somebody if you’re, sort of, if there’s not that something special. You know that better than anybody. Sometimes you’ll have a guest on where no matter what you do it’s not working, right? And then sometimes it’s magic. We had a great, a great feeling.”
Morgan asked: “Did you get the feeling she liked you?”
“Well I don’t want to speak for her,” Trump said, “but I can tell you I liked her. So usually that helps. But I liked her a lot.”
Asked if he had discussed Brexit, Trump said: “I did. She said it’s a very – and she’s right – it’s a very complex problem. I think nobody had any idea how complex that was going to be … Everyone thought it was going to be, ‘Oh it’s simple, we join or don’t join, or let’s see what happens’.”
Trump would not say if the 92-year-old monarch told him what she really thinks of Britain’s attempt to leave the European Union.
“Well,” he said, “I can’t talk, you know I’ve heard very strongly from a lot of people, you just don’t talk about that conversation with the Queen, right? You don’t wanna do that … Let me tell you what I can talk about … she is an incredible woman, she is so sharp, she is so beautiful, when I say beautiful – inside and out. That is a beautiful woman.”
Morgan questioned the president on abortion rights. Pro-choice activists fear Trump’s second supreme court pick Brett Kavanaughwill place such rights in danger.
“I think he is going to be confirmed and someday in the distant future there could be a vote,” Trump said. “There’s also a very good chance there won’t be a vote. We’ll have to see what happens. A case has to get up there. It could be a long time.”
The interview was held on the president’s aircraft Air Force One, at Stansted airport before Trump’s flight to Scotland. Having already written extensively about the jet’s fixtures and fittings and supply of special M&Ms, Morgan changed the subject.
What, he asked, “was the coolest thing” about the aircraft.
Though he had “known great planes”, Trump said, “this is Air Force One and I think the coolest thing of this plane is: it’s Air Force One.”
This article provided by NewsEdge.