• British Prime Minister Theresa May meets with President Donald Trump

    By Anna Wilding on January 28, 2017

    Photos copyright 2017 Anna Wilding

    WASHINGTON, DC (Herald de Paris) —  President Donald Trump accepted an invitation to visit England and meet Queen Elizabeth II, on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s first official visit to the United States. The colorful and vibrant pair greeted press and staff with brisk optimism.

    Both acknowledged their differences but also pointed out their obvious similarities and goals – that of looking out for working and middle class people in their respective countries. There was no doubt that although this relationship showed none of the extraordinary “bromance” we witnessed with President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.  What the Trump-May meeting did display, however, was a professionalism and willingness to work together, and the mutual expression of the deep long held respect each country has for the other.

    The British/American relationship is one that spans centuries, all the way to the core of the American way of life and values. The US fought hard for its legal independence from the British Empire, but in action the two countries historically form the most keenest and formidable of allies.

    The press conference was fresh and brief.  In fact the entire  18 minutes, with only two questions being taken from each side.  President Trump stuck to a short script stating that, “The special relationship between our two countries has been one of the great forces in history for justice and for peace. And, by the way, my mother was born in Scotland — Stornoway — which is serious Scotland.  Today, the United States renews our deep bond with Britain — military, financial, cultural, and political. We have one of the great bonds. We pledge our lasting support to this most special relationship. Together, America and the United Kingdom are a beacon for prosperity and the rule of law. ”

    PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORTS NATO

    British Prime Minister May expounded further discussing steps on trade, security and economics. Touching on NATO, Mrs. May said, “On defense and security cooperation, we are united in our recognition of NATO as the bulwark of our collective defense. And today, we’ve reaffirmed our unshakable commitment to this alliance. Mr. President, I think you said — you confirmed that you’re 100 percent behind NATO. But we’re also discussing the importance of NATO continuing to ensure it is as equipped to fight terrorism and cyber warfare as it is to fight more conventional forms of war.”

    There were a few rare moments of levity. The most notable when a BBC journalist expressed to Trump in a defiant tone, that the British people were fearful of the President’s stance on immigration, abortion, and several other matters. Trump jokingly quipped to the audience and Prime Minister May, “There goes that relationship,” but added that he was there to represent the American people.

    Mr. Trump appeared to be doing his best throughout. Valiant and proud yes, the ability to be as calculating as ever, but there were moments where he almost appeared shy to be speaking on behalf of the American people in the East Room of the White House.

    It was interesting to note that both Ms. May and Mr. Trump were quick to stick up for other – and how much Trump’s chest would literally puff out when the British Prime Minister would agree with him. For example, when a member of the White House press corps asked what both leaders thought of the US-Mexico relationship, Mr. Trump was quick to point out that he thought that would not interest Prime Minister May, as she had far more pressing concerns for Britain than the US/Mexico relationship. Prime Minister May was quick to back Mr. Trump up on this, and agreed that the US/Mexico relationship did not concern her, and she had a greater issues to be dealing with for Great Britain.

    Media who suggested that the Prime Minister was starting on a weaker foot with President Trump were wrong. Mr. Trump, who had invited Prime Minister May to the White House, was in justifiably in awe of his British counterpart, proud of his Scottish roots, and very keen to strengthen even further an already strong relationship with the United Kingdom. Trade was one area where both seek to build extensively.

    The conference ended as quickly as it began.

    Anna Wilding is Chief White House Correspondent for the Herald de Paris, and an award-winning filmmaker.

     



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