Trump praises strong relationship with UK's May after damning her Brexit plan

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip stand together with U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the entrance to Blenheim Palace near Oxford

US President Donald Trump insists that he did not criticise British Prime Minister Theresa May during an interview this week with The Sun newspaper in which he questioned the United Kingdom leader's handling of Brexit.

"I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London", Trump told The Sun in an interview that was published on Thursday where he also sharply criticized May's Brexit plans.

Alan Duncan, Foreign Office minister, said he was still confident of a US-UK trade deal and called Donald Trump a "great character".

"Today we're talking trade, we're talking military, we just moved some incredible anti terrorism things.The relationship is very, very strong", Trump told reporters.

Asked by a US reporter if he regretted his comments to the Sun, Trump looked away, shook his head and pointed at the reporter.

"We stand by our reporting and the quotes we used - including those where the President was positive about the Prime Minister, in both the paper and in our audio - and we're delighted that the President essentially retracted his original charge against the paper later in the press conference".

Earlier, activists floated a six-meter-high blimp outside parliament depicting the USA president as an orange, snarling nappy-wearing baby. The president "is not avoiding anything" relying on helicopters, U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson said, rather he is "trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get within a 24-hour period". "And those Tories saying we should respect him simply because he is elected President - by that logic shouldn't he respect our Prime Minister & London's Mayor?" tweeted Anna Turley, a Labour MP from Redcar.Trump is a racist & disrespects our nation.

Britons are narrowly in favour of US President Donald Trump airing his views on Brexit, a Sky Data poll suggests.

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Buckinghamshire, said that Trump's helicopter landed around 10:00 GMT ahead of the meeting. "As he said in his interview with the Sun she "is a very good person" and he "never said anything bad about her", she said.

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"Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together, that's all that matters".

His visit has sparked opposition since May invited the president to a prestigious state visit when she became the first world leader to meet Trump at the White House following his inauguration. "She's a total professional because when I saw her this morning, I said: "I want to apologise, because I said such good things about you". And Trump has now openly sided with them against the prime minister.

Trump's interview with The Sun was full of provocative statements.

After the press conference, Trump flew to Windsor Castle for tea with the Queen.

It added: "It was the latest worldwide incident to erupt during Trump's brief sojourn overseas, which kicked off with incendiary comments that upended a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and further strained relationships with longtime U.S. allies".

The president said the former foreign secretary would make a "great prime minister", adding "I think he's got what it takes".

After arriving on Thursday, he was given an official reception at Blenheim Palace.

"I would actually say she probably went the opposite way", Trump said.

"The Mayor supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms." a spokesperson for the mayor told Huffington Post.

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