President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May were joining outside London for what could prove to be an awkward press conference Friday, following Trump’s explosive interview which put May in even deeper political turmoil.
The press conference comes after an interview with The Sun, in which Trump doubled down on his criticism of May’s approach to handling Britain’s departure from the European Union.
In that interview, Trump said that May’s new, softer approach to Brexit—which would leave Britain sticking to a “common rulebook” with Brussels on goods—would kill off the chances of a highly sought U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” Trump told The Sun. “No, if they would do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the U.S.”
Trump did praise May in the interview, but also suggested the prime minister did not take his advice on Brexit, which he said was “fine.”
“I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” Trump said, noting that negotiations had gone on “too long.”
Trump’s comments delivered a blow for May who is already fighting for her political life after announcing her plan on Brexit to her cabinet last week. That announcement sparked several high-level resignations—including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Trump, this week, has praised Johnson, and called him his “friend.”
“I am not pitting one against the other,” Trump said of Johnson and May. “I am just saying that he [Johnson] would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes.”
The White House quickly sent out a statement in the wake of the interview, playing up ties between May and Trump.
“The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much. As he said in his interview with the Sun she ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her,’” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. “He thought she was great on NATO today and is a really terrific person. He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the Prime Minister here in the U.K.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.