Literally no-one was looking forward to Donald Trump’s first presidential visit this week. Protests have planned, punny anti-Trump placards have been printed… and I’m the sure even Queen Liz is rolling her eyes at the thought of meeting the US leader.
But British officials and organises, eager for the trip to go as smoothly as possible and knowing the president has a taste for over-the-top showmanship, held their noses and have put together a schedule of working lunches at Chequers, elaborate black-tie dinners at Blenheim Palace, and watching a guard of honour with the Queen at Windsor Castle – before Trump sods off to Scotland for a couple of days to mooch around his golf course up there.
Inevitably, however, things went down the pan almost immediately.
Last night, just hours into the trip, the Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper published an explosive interview with the president in which he humiliates his host the PM Theresa May by launching a withering attack on her latest Brexit deal proposal.
Here’s a little of what he said about Theresa, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
Speaking about May’s Brexit deal and its impact on any future trade relationship with the US, Trump, 72, 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.”
Trump also took credit for apparently predicting the Brexit vote.
Recalling a visit to one of his golf resorts in Scotland in 2016, Trump said: “I predicted Brexit.
“I was cutting a ribbon for the opening of Turnberry — you know they totally did a whole renovation, it is beautiful — the day before the Brexit vote.
“I said, ‘Brexit will happen’. The vote is going to go positive, because people don’t want to be faced with the horrible immigration problems that they are being faced with in other countries.”
As far as we can tell, however, this just isn’t true. The Brexit vote took place on June 23, with the result officially announced early the next morning, but Trump’s golf course event didn’t take place until the next day.
Elsewhere in the interview, Trump accused Sadiq Khan of doing a “bad job” on terrorism.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London,” Trump said.
“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.”
Responsibility for terrorism policy is shared with central government, the Met police and MI5.
Finally, Trump made it known that he’d like Brexit-supporting MP Boris Johnson to be a future Prime Minister, calling him “a very talented guy.”
“I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
Deep breaths Britain. It’s only for a couple of days and then we can get back to dealing with our own shitty politicians.