Donald Trump's UK visit: What we have learned so far

Donald Trump's UK visit: What we have learned so far

Never a man to stick to the script, Donald Trump’s visit to the UK has already been peppered with revelations, petty feuds and the usual dose of chest-beating.

Here is what we have learned about Mr Trump’s current world view over the last few days.

– Trump loves Nato

The US president has long complained that America pays too much into Nato and reportedly mulled over leaving the organisation completely but, having apparently single-handedly increased other signatories’ contributions by $130 billion, it seems he is now a big fan.

Nato leaders pose for a photograph during the annual summit (Steve Parsons/PA)
Nato leaders pose for a photograph during the annual summit (Steve Parsons/PA)

At an unplanned 50-minute press conference with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Trump said: “Nato serves a great purpose.”

– Trump is not happy with Emmanuel Macron

Now he is in Team Nato, Mr Trump cannot take the French president’s recent comments that the organisation is “brain dead” lying down.

“It is a very, very nasty statement,” he said, adding: “You have a very high unemployment rate in France. France is not doing well economically at all.

“They have had a very rough year. You just can’t go around making statements like that about Nato.”

Emmanuel Macron is in Donald Trump’s firing line for describing Nato as ‘brain dead’ (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)
Emmanuel Macron is in Donald Trump’s firing line for describing Nato as ‘brain dead’ (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)

“It is very disrespectful,” he said, before claiming: “Nobody needs Nato more than France.”

– Trump is spoiling for a trade war

The US president has threatened France with a raft of taxes on its imports in response to its proposed financial services tax – something Mr Trump seems to consider an affront to national pride.

He said: “I’m not in love with those companies, Facebook and Twitter and Google – although I do pretty well with Twitter – but I’m not necessarily in love with those companies.

“But they’re our companies, they’re American companies, I want to tax those companies. They’re not going to be taxed by France.”

He threatened to tax French wines “and everything else”, including engineering giant Airbus.

The FTSE slumped to its lowest level in two months in the wake of the revelations.

– Trump does not want the NHS

Mr Trump has apparently forgotten remarks he made this summer that “everything should be on the table” in post-Brexit trade talks with the US, including the NHS.

President Trump does not want the NHS, despite claims he made during a press conference with Theresa May in the summer (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
President Trump does not want the NHS, despite claims he made during a press conference with Theresa May in the summer (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“I don’t even know where that rumour started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it and we wouldn’t want to if you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it,” he said on Monday.

– Trump backs Johnson

Perhaps wary of any allegations of meddling, the US president has vowed to stay out of the UK elections, saying: “I don’t want to complicate it.”

But he added Boris Johnson was “very capable and I think he will do a good job”.

When asked if he could work with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he said: “I can work with anybody. I’m a very easy person to work with.”

Although he later added: “I know nothing about the gentleman.”

Donald Trump said he thought Boris Johnson was ‘very capable’ (Steve Parsons/PA)
Donald Trump said he thought Boris Johnson was ‘very capable’ (Steve Parsons/PA)

– Trump does not know Britain's Prince Andrew

Despite being photographed together on several occasions, the US president claimed he is not an acquaintance of the British royal.

“I don’t know Prince Andrew but it’s a tough story. A very tough story,” he said.

– Trump defeated Islamic State

Putting aside any involvement from Kurdish forces on the ground, Mr Trump is taking credit for the defeat of Islamic State (IS).

“We’ve defeated the Isis caliphate, nobody thought we could do that so quickly. I did it very quickly. When I came in it was virtually 100% (of Syria) and I knocked it down to zero,” he said.

He also played up the killing of Isis leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and boasted: “We have the oil, and we can do with the oil what we want.”

– Trump wants a “good” climate

An ardent climate change sceptic and still intent on pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement, Mr Trump was apparently less dogmatic with nature-loving Prince Charles.

Donald Trump ‘totally listened’ to Prince Charles' climate concerns over tea at Clarence House (Victoria Jones/PA)
Donald Trump ‘totally listened’ to Prince Charles' climate concerns over tea at Clarence House (Victoria Jones/PA)

Following tea with Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, at Clarence House, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain he “totally listened” to the prince on the issue.

Mr Trump said: “He wants to make sure future generations have climate that is good climate as opposed to a disaster, and I agree.

“I did mention a number of things, I did say the United States right now has among the cleanest climates.”

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