Donald Trump says he 'feels bad' for Theresa May despite criticising her over Brexit
President Donald Trump says he “feels bad” for Theresa May despite repeatedly criticising her over Brexit.
Mr Trump, who will visit the UK before Mrs May officially steps down in 7 June, paid tribute to the departing prime minister during a tour of the White House garden.
Despite taking previously aim at Mrs May for her handling of Brexit, he told reporters: “I feel badly for Theresa. I like her very much. She’s a good woman.
“She worked very hard. She’s very strong. She decided to do something that some people were surprised at, some people weren’t.
“It’s for the good of her country. But I like her very much. In fact, I’ll be seeing her in two weeks.”
However, Mr Trump had previously fired a number of warning shots at Mrs May, saying her Brexit deal could make trade difficult between the US and UK.
In an incendiary interview with The Sun in July, he claimed he offered Mrs May advice and “would have done Brexit differently”.
He said: “I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation. I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.
“She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine – she’s got to do what she’s got to do. I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.”
In March he again that her handling of Brexit was "tearing countries apart.
Mrs May confirmed her resignation in an emotional speech on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street earlier on Friday.
Her voice breaking with emotion, Mrs May said: “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold.
“The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
In a key message to her successor who will shortly have to grapple with Brexit, she quoted Sir Nicholas Winton, organiser of the kindertransport at the outbreak of World War II, who once told her: “Compromise is not a dirty word.”
She will stand down two days after Mr Trump completes his state visit of the UK.
Buckingham Palace released the full timetable for his tour of the UK, holding many meetings with Mrs May as well as attending the state banquet hosted by the Queen on 3 June.