Piers Morgan has revealed how Donald Trump views Brexit as a ‘fudge’ as the US President criticised Theresa May’s approach to negotiations with the EU.
The MailOnline editor-at-large also said that Mr Trump considers the EU ‘terrible people’ and is ‘prepared to punish’ Brussels post-Brexit.
It comes after the US President insisted he was ‘very popular’ in the UK, despite vows from opponents that his visit to the country will be greeted with huge protests.
In his first international TV interview, Trump insisted: ‘I think I’m very popular in your country. I get so much fan mail from people in your country, they love my sense of security and what I’m saying about many different things…. We get tremendous support from people in the UK.’
When asked if he thought the Prime Minister was ‘in a good position’ regarding Brexit talks, Mr Trump replied: ‘Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s [being] negotiated… I would have had a different attitude.’
Pressed on how his approach would have differed from that of Mrs May, he said: ‘I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be. I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.’
Donald Trump said he usually tweets at breakfast or over lunch before getting down to the work of government in the day
When Morgan mentioned the leader of the opposition, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan – both of whom have been critical of Trump – the President replied ‘I don’t know the man’. He tweeted Mr Khan (pictured) during a feud between the pair in June last year
The US President claimed there are a lot of Britons who respect him and like what he stands for
Trump said he usually tweets at breakfast or over lunch before getting down to the work of government in the day.
Speaking to Morgan on ITV from the World Economic Forum in Davos, the President said: ‘Perhaps [I tweet] in bed, perhaps sometimes at breakfast and lunch.
‘Generally speaking during the early morning I can do that then I am busy during the day. I sometimes just dictate out things to my people.’
Mr Trump also mentioned that his mother, Mary, was born in Scotland and said he ‘loves’ the UK.
‘The real me is somebody that loves Britain, loves the UK. I love Scotland,’ he said. ‘One of the biggest problems I have in winning, I won’t be able to get back there so often. I would love to go there.’
Morgan came to the issue of Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan when discussing Mr Trump’s biggest critics in the UK.
When the presenter mentioned that both politicians wanted him to stay away from the UK Mr Trump said, ‘I don’t know the man, I don’t know the man.’
The President has a long running enmity with Mr Khan. Last year he was scathing about the London Mayor response to the terror attacks in Westminster and London Bridge.
He tweeted: ‘At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’
President Trump also defended his diet. Asked if he planned to switch away from fast food, which he has regularly been pictured eating, he said: ‘No don’t want to change it.
‘I eat fine food, some from the finest chefs in the world. I am healthy, I have some of that [fast food] on occasion. I think I eat actually quite well.’
The President, pictured with the prime minister in Davos, said the EU isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the ITV interview
Trump was asked whether Mrs May was in a good position in the Brexit talks and said she should have been stronger in her approach
In the interview, Mr Trump also sparked a diplomatic row by claiming the Prime Minister had invited him to make two trips to the UK this year – including a State visit in October, with all the pomp that entails.
And in a snub to Mrs May, the President said he would have taken a much tougher stance than Mrs May towards Brussels.
His intervention could undermine the moves he made earlier to repair the transatlantic special relationship by singing the praises of Britain and saying how much he supported and respected Mrs May.
In his first international television interview, the President told Piers Morgan that May’s negotiations should have been tougher
I’ve not been invited to Harry’s wedding…
When President Trump was asked if he had received an invitation to the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May he said: ‘Not that I know of.
‘I want them to be happy. I really want them to be happy. They look like a lovely couple.’
…but I am still coming for a state visit, he claims
It was announced just before our meeting that President Trump will be coming to Britain later this year, initially for a non-State visit around the time of a Nato meeting in Brussels in mid-July.
But Trump clearly feels the full State visit, first offered to him by Prime Minister Theresa May a year ago, is still very much on the cards for the autumn.
‘So you’re coming to Britain?’ Piers Morgan asked him before the interview started.
‘Yeah. I’ll be there. She [Theresa May] just invited me. Twice. State and working. One is a State, October.’
‘That date is still to be confirmed,’ said an aide.
…and as for my hair, it’s still hanging on!
As Morgan prepared to start filming, Trump was distracted by his own image appearing on a camera monitor.
‘Can you bring that down a bit?’ he asked. ‘I like it on my hair.’
The camera was lowered to centre on the world’s most famous blond bouffant. ‘People find it hard to believe that it IS my hair,’ said the President as he checked it out.
‘But it is. You know that right, Piers?’
The comments will boost those calling for a ‘hard Brexit’, led by Boris Johnson.
Mr Trump claimed he was not surprised by the result of the EU referendum: ‘I said [that] because of trade, but mostly immigration, Brexit is going to be a big upset. And I was right.’
He added: ‘I know the British people and understand them. They don’t want people coming from all over the world into Britain, they don’t know anything about these people.’
However, Mrs May can draw comfort from the President’s promise of a ‘great trade deal’ between Britain and America after the UK has left the EU: ‘You have a two-year restriction because of Brexit, but when that is up we’re going to be your great trading partner.
Before the cameras started rolling, Mr Morgan asked Mr Trump if he was coming to the UK. He replied: ‘Yeah, I’ll be there. She [Mrs May] just invited me. Twice.’
After checking with an aide, Mr Trump said he expected one non-State visit – probably in July after a Nato summit in Brussels – followed by a State visit in October. A White House aide said later the date had not yet been confirmed.
Mr Trump’s comments about a State visit took Downing Street and Buckingham Palace by surprise. A Whitehall source added: ‘As far as we know, nothing has been agreed about the President meeting the Queen.’
Buckingham Palace declined to comment. Mrs May’s invitation for a State visit – made shortly after Mr Trump entered the White House a year ago – had been put on ice as a result of wide-scale public opposition.
Donald Trump said he would have taken a tougher stance during EU negotiations in an interview with Piers Morgan
Mr Trump also cancelled a planned trip to open the new US Embassy in London next month. However, the President told Mr Morgan: ‘A lot of people in your country like what I stand for, they respect what I stand for.’
Mr Trump made it clear that he was thrilled at the way Emmanuel Macron had ‘rolled out the red carpet’ for him on a State visit to France. ‘Emmanuel is a great guy. His wife is fantastic. I like them a lot. We had dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower and everything was closed.’
Mr Trump had reportedly refused a State visit to the UK after Mrs May criticised him for retweeting videos from British far-Right extremists.
The President said he would apologise if the far-right group is seen as being ‘horrible and racist’.
The videos were initially posted by British nationalist Jayda Fransen, who has been convicted of hate crimes, and Theresa May publicly condemned the President.
In the president’s first international TV interview he claimed he would have taken a tougher stance than Theresa May when negotiating with the EU
Asked about a State visit during a joint appearance with Mrs May at the Davos economic summit on Friday, Mr Trump said: ‘We’ll talk about it.’ Mrs May nodded in approval.
No 10 said last night details of any State visit would be set out in due course.
The President also answered once and for all the question of whether or not he is a feminist. His answer was a clear ‘no’.
Trump said: ‘No, I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I’m for women, I’m for men, I’m for everyone.
‘I think people have to go out, they have to go out and really do it, and they have to win. And women are doing great, and I’m happy about that.’