Trump holds joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May

Author: CBS News
Published: Updated:

The second day of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. started with business before shifting into politics as he met with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May. The two leaders were to hold a joint news conference in London on Tuesday, just three days before May’s resignation. The British Prime Minister was forced to announce that she would step down after parliament refused three times to back her proposed plan for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union.

“I feel badly for Theresa,” the president told reporters on the White House South Lawn after May announced her resignation. “I like her very much. She’s a good woman. She worked very hard. She’s very strong. She decided to do something that some people were surprised at, some people weren’t. It’s for the good of her country. But I like her very much.”

Mr. Trump, who criticized May’s handling of the “Brexit” negotiations with Europe, suggesting she should have taken a harder line with Brussels, defended his decision to wade into U.K. politics on Sunday.

“People ask me questions like you you’re asking me a question, don’t ask me a question if you don’t want me to talk about it,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn.Mr. Trump’s first event on Tuesday was a business round table. May was to attend, along with Mr. Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka. With the U.K. scheduled to leave the EU trading bloc on Oct. 31, British politicians and businesses are expected to push for a wide trade deal with the U.S.Mr. Trump and May’s joint news conference was expected to begin at about 8:45 a.m. Eastern.

Joint press conference beginning shortly

Journalists are gathering for the joint press availability, scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Eastern.

Both British and American flags adorn the stately room.

While reporters are sure to ask questions about the U.K.-U.S. relationship, anything is possible in these news conference settings with a president who likes to speak his mind.

First Lady hosts garden party at 10 Downing​

First Lady Melania Trump hosted a reception with the prime minister’s husband Philip for 10 Downing and British embassy families during the president’s day of meetings at the official residence. There was a mix of British and American lawn games and food at the lighthearted event breaking up a day of political talks between the two nations.

The first lady met with young children waving British and American flags and signed a banner commemorating the state visit.

Sadiq Khan calls Trump a “poster boy” for far right

“I’m a bit surprised that the President of the USA would, frankly speaking, behave like an 11-year-old and resort to name calling,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan told CBS News partner network BBC News when reacting to Mr. Trump’s tweets about him. Khan said despite their war of words, he’d welcome a “discussion about some of the issues we disagree about.”

But Kahn said he was concerned that the leader of the U.S. “seems a poster boy for far right movements across the globe” suggesting his rhetoric and past ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries “played into the hands of extremists.”Khan urged the prime minister to express to Mr. Trump during their day of meetings “her concerns in relation to some of the things he’s said and done.”

Trumps, Mays view copy of Declaration of Independence

During a tour of 10 Downing, Prime Minister Theresa May, Philip May, President Trump and the first lady viewed a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Thousands protest as Trump arrives for May meeting

As the Trumps arrived, an audible hum of chants rang out in the distance as thousands gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square, just a 3 minute drive down the street from 10 Downing.

Crowds of protesters were seen with signs demonstrating against the Trump administration while a giant balloon of the president wearing diapers dubbed “Trump Baby” soared overhead. The anti-Trump protests are expected to continue throughout much of the day as the president concludes his State visit.

Trump arrives at 10 Downing

The President and first lady arrived at 10 Downing Street and were greeted by Prime Minister May and her husband Philip May. The group exchanged pleasantries and posed for photos before entering the building for private meetings.

Staff at the residence rolled out the red carpet for the president as Larry the cat, a common presence outside 10 Downing Street was seen resting in a window sill during the welcome ceremony.

White House adviser Jared Kushner was seen arriving several moments before the president entered the building. White House officials including the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived for the day’s events shortly after the president entered. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also slated to attend.

The president is now expected to participate in an expanded bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister.

Trumps head to Downing Street

President Trump left the business roundtable meeting on Tuesday and headed for the seat of British political power, the prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street.

Business round table

Mr. Trump sat opposite Prime Minister Theresa May at one of the royal palaces in London on Tuesday, each leader flanked by economic advisers and company bosses from some of the biggest businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to the AFP news agency, bosses from corporate giants BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs International were among those expected to attend the meeting.

Speaking before his departure from Washington, Mr. Trump said Britain’s leaders “want to do trade with the United States and I think there’s an opportunity for a very big trade deal at some point in the near future.”

The U.K.’s scheduled departure from the EU may leave it free to strike its own unilateral trade deals around the world, but it will also leave it without the huge collective bargaining power of membership in the 28-nation trade bloc. In an interview with British newspaper The Sunday Times, Mr. Trump said the U.K. should “walk away from Brexit talks” if the European Union doesn’t give it what it wants.

“We are your largest partner. You’re our largest partner. A lot of people don’t know that,” Mr. Trump said to May as the meeting began, noting that he believed there was a “great opportunity to enlarge that, in light of what’s happening.”

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