Trump says he would negotiate Brexit with 'tougher' attitude than Theresa May

 

LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump would take a "tougher" approach to Brexit negotiations than Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, he said in a television interview to be broadcast later on Sunday.

In the interview with British channel ITV, Trump said the European Union was "not cracked up to what it's supposed to be" and claimed he had predicted the result of the June 2016 referendum in which Britons voted to leave the EU. Trump was elected to the U.S. presidency later the same year.

When asked if May was in a "good position" regarding the ongoing Brexit talks, Trump replied: "Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn't negotiate it the way it's negotiated ... I would have had a different attitude."

Pressed on how his approach would be different, he said: "I would have said the European Union is not cracked up to what it's supposed to be. I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out."

17 PHOTOS
Donald Trump, Theresa May meet at White House
See Gallery
Donald Trump, Theresa May meet at White House
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May with U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump escorts British Prime Minister Theresa May after their meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump participate in a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) participate in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister May is on a visit to the White House and had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) participate in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister May is on a visit to the White House and had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May ,participate in a joint press conference at the East Room of the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister May is on a visit to the White House and had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the East Room of the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister May is on a visit to the White House and had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and British Prime Minister Theresa May ,participate in a joint press conference at the East Room of the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. Prime Minister May is on a visit to the White House and had a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White House Oval Office in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and US President Donald Trump shake hands beside a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May with U.S. President Donald Trump in The Oval Office at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and US President Donald speak in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump listens while British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference at the White House January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May with U.S. President Donald Trump in The Oval Office at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a two-day visit to the United States and will be the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, smiles during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. The British prime minister is planning to pitch a free-trade deal to the new U.S. leader just as the reality of a new era of protection for American workers sinks in. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after his inauguration in January last year and they were filmed emerging from the White House holding hands.

But the "special relationship" between the two nations has since faced several ups and downs, including Trump rebuking May on Twitter after she criticized him for retweeting British far-right anti-Islam videos.

He said in an earlier extract from the same interview that he had not intended to cause offense in Britain by sharing the videos and that he would apologize if the original posters were horrible racists.

Trump's comments on militant attacks in Britain have angered some and he has often exchanged barbs on social media with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Trump also said in the interview that he had anticipated the Brexit referendum result because of many Britons' concerns over immigration -- also a key plank of his U.S. election campaign.

"I said because of trade, but mostly immigration, Brexit is going to be a big upset. And I was right," he said. "I know the British people and understand them."

"They don't want people coming from all over the world into Britain, they don't know anything about these people."

Trump also said he had been invited by May to make two visits to Britain this year.

Earlier this month, he canceled a trip to London to open a new embassy, saying he did not want to endorse a bad deal agreed by the Obama administration to sell the old one for "peanuts." Some Britons are angry at the prospect of a visit by Trump, with large protests expected when he does arrive.

Asked in the interview if he had been invited to the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle, Trump said: "Not that I know of."

He declined to say if he would like to attend the wedding at Windsor Castle but added: "I want them to be happy. I really want them to be happy.

"They look like a lovely couple." (Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.