Some think so.
During an interview with The Sun published Thursday, the President criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“I didn’t criticize the prime minister. I have a lot of respect for the prime minister. Unfortunately, there was a story that was done, which was generally fine, but it didn’t put in what I said about the prime minister, and I said tremendous things.”
However, The Sun has posted audio clips which suggest otherwise. Included are these bits:
- “I actually told Theresa May how to do [Brexit], but she didn’t agree. She didn’t listen to me.”
- “I would say she actually went the opposite way. . . . But it’s too bad what’s going on.”
- “I think the [European Union trade] deal she is striking is not the one people voted on, exactly. It’s a much different deal than people voted on. It was not the deal that was in the referendum.”
- “But it will definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way.”
Laura Ingraham, for one, thought Trump’s move was a “ridiculous mistake.” She said as much to Newt Gingrich on her Fox program.
Trump may have agreed: during a joint news briefing with May Friday, he indicated an attempt at an apology:
“When I saw her this morning I said, ‘I want [to] apologize, because I said such good things about you.’ She said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only the press.'”
In the briefing, May appeared to be defending decisions she had made, presumably due to Trump’s published disapproval. Moreover, at one point during the conference, she turned to Trump as she asserted, “It is all of our responsibility to ensure that trans-Atlantic unity endures.”
Republican strategist Rick Tyler, communications director for Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries, told The Hill he wasn’t impressed. With anyone:
“I’m not a big fan of Theresa May and I’m not really all that enthusiastic about her position on Brexit, but it is not the president’s place in public to embarrass an ally.”
Of course, the President also recently ruffled some feathers at the NATO assembly in Belgium, where he castigated members for not paying their dues in the area of defense and attacked Germany for its Nord Stream 2 deal with Russia (see all about that here and here). I’m of the opinion that calling other members to the carpet was justified.
But why would Trump embarrass May over Brexit, when that issue arguably has little direct connection to the U.S., and Trump’s supporters have no vested interest in it?
When you speak your mind in the manner of Trump, perhaps sometimes shooting from the hip results in stray bullets. I suppose when you’re as trigger-happy as he seems, there are bound to be some political misfires.
Do you believe any of this is of consequence? Are the virtues of Trump’s directness sizably countered by his foul-ups? Please let your thoughts be known in the Comments section below.
For another Trump blunder (politically, I believe), check out my coverage of his Executive Order on family separation.
For the opposite, here’s what I like about Trump.
For something different, here are my pieces on Family Guy’s lampooning of Millennials, Bret Baier’s enlightening appearance on The View, and the Vatican’s reported endorsement of homosexuality.