Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday January 28, 2017
Trump pledges ‘lasting support’ to relationship with Britain after meeting with Theresa May
U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared chummy as they faced a curious world together for the first time Friday, pledging allegiance to the special relationship between their countries while trying to mask stark differences on some major issues.
It was Trump’s first White House meeting with a foreign head of state, a hastily arranged confab held precisely one week after the businessman and reality TV star, who remains a largely unknown figure to European audiences, was sworn into office as president.
Trump sought to charm May from the outset, showing her the bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he’s using to decorate the Oval Office. He then opened a joint news conference by noting that his late mother was born in “Stornoway, which is serious Scotland.” Scotland is part of Great Britain.
Trump and May were seen briefly holding hands as they walked along the White House colonnade after leaving the Oval Office. Their talks continued in the State Dining Room over lunch of iceberg wedge salad, braised beef short ribs with potato puree and salted caramel crème brûlée.
For her part, May congratulated Trump on his “stunning election victory,” and announced that he had accepted the queen’s invitation for a state visit for the president and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, later this year.
But the attempts at mutual flattery didn’t completely mask the leaders’ differences over some issues, including NATO and Russia.
Trump also reiterated his belief that torture works. Britain takes a vocal stand against it.
The appearance alongside May was more amiable than Trump’s most recent public appearance with a foreign leader: a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last August. Trump was more staid and serious then, and read from lengthy prepared remarks.
Coincidentally, Trump and May met a day after Pena Nieto cancelled his own trip to Washington next week amid disagreement with Trump over which of their countries will pay for the wall Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump says Mexico will pay; Mexico says it won’t. (Source: Toronto Star)