Trump and UK Prime Minister May talk Iran, Brexit, trade at joint news conference
ABC News – UK Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the importance of the U.S.-UK “special relationship ” in dealing with Iran, but noted “we stand by the nuclear deal” at a joint news conference on Tuesday with President Donald Trump.
“We can also differ sometimes on how to confront the challenges we face,” May said as both leaders noted the importance of their alliance as the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion approaches.
Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal a year ago, said the two nations must keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “I believe that will happen,” said Trump.
The two leaders came from a meeting earlier at 10 Downing Street where they continued discussions about a post-Brexit trade deal.
First lady Melania Trump looked on from the first row and other Trump family members, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric and Lara Trump and Tiffany Trump watched from the second row.
May is set to step down as her party’s leader at the end of this week, and earlier Tuesday President Donald Trump joked about the timing of her departure saying she should “stick around” to make a U.S.-UK bilateral trade deal.
“I don’t know exactly what your timing is but stick around let’s do this deal,” Trump said to the outgoing prime minister — seemingly in jest — in remarks before cameras at the beginning of a roundtable with U.S. and UK businesses.
The second day of Trump’s state visit was being filled with more official business than ceremony, with his meeting with May and business leaders to discuss trade and other matters.
The president’s visit comes at a particularly awkward moment for May, who announced her resignation last Friday and is set to officially step down as the Conservative Party leader on June 7, just a few days after the president’s visit.
The day began with business. President Trump attended a business breakfast meeting at St. James’s Palace co-hosted by May that brought together major U.S. and UK business leaders.
The president expressed confidence that the two allies will ultimately reach a “substantial” and “fair” trade deal.
“I think we’ll have a very very substantial trade deal, it will be a very fair deal,” Trump said. “This is something my folks want to do, your folks want to do, and we’ll get it done.”
In the meeting with US and UK businesses, the president praised the strong trade relationship that already exists between the two countries and predicted that there is a “great opportunity to tremendously expand that relationship.”
Trump also praised what he said has been an “outstanding” relationship with May, saying he “very much appreciate[s] the relationship we’ve had.”
Yet, the persistent uncertainty around Brexit loomed at the breakfast. While the president has expressed his hopes for negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the UK, the president’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. is waiting for the UK’s planned exit from the EU to occur first.
“President Trump remains very eager to cut a bilateral trade deal with an independent Britain. It’s what the people voted for in 2016, and when they get out, whether it’s now, April 12 or later, we’ll be standing right there waiting for them,” Bolton said in a recent interview with Reuters.
After breakfast, the president heads to the prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street for meetings and could potentially hold a joint news conference.
In the evening, the president and first lady will reciprocate the hospitality of their British hosts with a dinner hosted at Winfield House. Prince Charles and Camilla will attend the dinner in the queen’s place, according to the palace.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.