LONDON — Since Donald Trump was elected president, perhaps no U.S. ally has gone to greater lengths to make friends than British Prime Minister Theresa May.
As other European leaders have kept their distance, wary of the new president’s seeming willingness to veer away from core Western values, May has repeatedly stressed her support.
Her government boycotted European gatherings to wring hands over Trump’s erratic behavior, and she echoed the reality star's talking points by pointedly criticizing the Obama administration’s stance on Israel during the 44thpresident’s final days in office.
She even sent Trump a highly symbolic Christmas gift: a copy of a wartime speech Winston Churchill delivered to the American people, along with a letter expressing belief that the “unity and fraternal association” between the United States and Britain is “as true today as it has ever been.”
May’s loyalty is being rewarded this week with a plum designation: On Friday, she will be the first foreign leader to meet Trump in the Oval Office. The meeting will give her a prime chance to pitch Trump on a U.S.-Britain free-trade deal, an agreement that May has signaled will be a top priority of her premiership as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
But as she was winging across the Atlantic on Thursday, she also faced a wicked backlash in London from lawmakers who say her courting of the new U.S. president has gone too far.
The criticism came after Downing Street released excerpts from a speech May intends to deliver Thursday at a retreat for Republican congressmen in Philadelphia. Trump is also due to address the gathering.
In her speech, May seems to endorse Trump's view of himself as a turnaround artist who can restore America to lost greatness. Both the United States and Britain, she is due to tell the Republicans, are “rediscover[ing] our confidence.”Read More...
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