U.S. President Donald Trump is claiming he would take a “tougher” attitude toward Brexit negotiations with the European Union than the approach now being used by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Without providing specifics, Trump said in an interview with Britain’s ITV that he would have used different tactics.
Britain is preparing to leave 28-nation bloc in March 2019.
The complex negotiations have moved slowly and May’s cabinet seems deeply divided over how best to separate.
In the interview with Piers Morgan, to be broadcast Sunday night, Trump also expresses his admiration for French President Emmanuel Macron.
Here are some of the questions and answers:
Piers Morgan: “Do you believe that we are in a good position (regarding Brexit)? A lot of people are still very nervous, very anxious. But you are the president of the United States, saying ‘hey, it’s plenty of good trade coming from me’. That’s a big deal to people in Britain.”
Donald Trump: “Well, would it be the way I negotiate it? No, I wouldn’t have negotiated it the way it was negotiated. But I have a lot of respect for your prime minister and I think they’re doing a job. I think I would have negotiated it differently. I would have had a different attitude.”
Piers Morgan: “What would you have done?”
Donald Trump: “I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be. And I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.”
Piers Morgan: “Are we front of the queue? Or are we behind the French? Because we are worried about [French President] Emmanuel Macron, who has been all over you trying to be your new best friend?”
Donald Trump: “No I like him, he’s a friend of mine, Emmanuel. He’s a great guy, his wife [Brigitte Macron] is fantastic. I like him a lot. You know we had dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower.”
Trump also said he looks forward to visiting Britain — where he has been invited sometime for a state visit to be hosted by the Queen — and apologizes for retweeting videos by a far-right group in Britain, which exacerbated tensions with May and drew complaints in the U.K. parliament.
He also said Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle look like a “lovely couple” but he doesn’t know if he has been invited to their May 19 nuptials at Windsor Castle. Trump was unperturbed when told that Markle backed his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 U.S. election and has described him as “divisive.”