President Trump praises Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson ahead of UK visit
Donald Trump’s comments about the leader of the Brexit Party and the frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest come just days before his UK visit.
US President Donald Trump has praised two of Theresa May’s political rivals just days before his state visit to the UK.
Mr Trump will be in the UK for a three-day visit from June 3-5 and his comments risk embarrassing the Prime Minister, who is due to quit as Tory leader later that week.
Mr Trump hinted that he may meet Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson during his trip, describing both men as friends.
And he highlighted the Brexit Party’s success in the European elections, where Mr Farage’s outfit helped to humiliate Mrs May’s Conservatives.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Mr Trump said: “Nigel Farage is a friend of mine. Boris is a friend of mine. They are two very good guys, very interesting people.”
In a reference to the European elections he said: “Nigel’s had a big victory, he’s picked up 32% of the vote starting from nothing.
“I think they are big powers over there, I think they have done a good job.”
The president’s comments came in response to a question about whether he would be meeting them during his visit.
Mr Trump said he “liked” both men but “I haven’t thought about supporting them, maybe it’s not my business to support people”.
“But I have a lot of respect for both men.”
Brexit Party sources would not respond to Mr Trump’s comments on a potential meeting but pointed out Mr Farage will be in Brussels for at least part of next week.
The party is also focused on seeking to win its first MP in the June 6 Peterborough by-election.
Mr Johnson’s camp have received no correspondence from the White House about a potential meeting.