Donald Trump says his relationship with Theresa May is 'very good'
Donald Trump insisted his relationship with Theresa May was "very, very strong" just hours after leaving the prime minister humiliated with an explosive assessment of her leadership.
The US president left Mrs May badly wounded when he criticised her negotiating style, lavished praise on Boris Johnson days after he walked out of Cabinet and warned her Brexit plan could "kill" any UK-US trade deal.
Speaking at Chequers, as the shockwaves continued to reverberate following his brutal assessment, Mr Trump insisted said he and Theresa May had "probably never developed a better relationship" than during the dinner on Thursday.
Seated alongside the PM at her official country residence in Buckinghamshire, Mr Trump appeared to adopt a more conciliatory tone, saying: "The relationship is very, very strong, we really have a very good relationship."
He added: "We had a dinner where I think we probably never developed a better relationship than last night. We spoke for an hour or an hour and a half and it was really something."
The prime minister and the president arrived by helicopter at Chequers after a visit to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and will now be locked in hours of talks which will culminate in what promises to be an awkward press conference.
Mrs May said trade would be discussed during the meeting.
"We are going to be discussing the special relationship, which is great, between the UK and US," she said.
"We are going to be discussing the real opportunities we have got to have this trade deal coming up when we leave the European Union.
"And of course, we will discuss foreign policy and defence and security issues, where we work really closely together with the US."
In an explosive interview with The Sun, Mr Trump said he would have carried out the Brexit negotiations "much differently" and claimed the prime minister did not listen to his advice.
He said: "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.
"If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made."
He went on to say Mr Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary over the Chequers plan, was "a great representative for your country".
Asked if he could become prime minister he added: "Well I am not pitting one against the other. I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he's got what it takes."
As he sat down with the PM at Chequers before a row of British and American flags, the president rolled his eyes when reporters asked if he regretted what he said in the interview.
The trade deal warning sparked a sterling sell off, with the pound shedding 0.6% against the dollar to trade at 1.31.
Two ministers broke cover to make their displeasure at Mr Trump's comments known.
Education minister Sam Gyimah said: "Where are your manners, Mr President?"
Culture minister Margot James tweeted: "No Mr President POTUS Boris Johnson would make a terrible PM."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Theresa May has invited President Trump to our country at a time when his dangerous and inhumane policies are putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk."
Protesters took to the streets in London to demonstrate against the president's visit - and in Parliament Square, a Trump baby blimp was raised up in the air.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said he is taking part in protests because the US President's politics are "profoundly dangerous".
London mayor Sadiq Khan said he would not rise to Mr Trump's "beastly" comments, after the president attacked him over the wave of terror atrocities and said he was doing "a terrible job".
Mr Trump will head off to meet the Queen, who he called a "tremendous woman", at Windsor Castle after talks at Chequers wrap up.
Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump played bowls with the prime minister's husband.
Mrs Trump (48) joined Philip May (60) at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London where she met Chelsea pensioners and local children.