Donald Trump claimed he was misquoted by the Sun in his biting criticism of Theresa May — a bombshell for a foreign leader to level while a guest in another country — and said he had the tape to prove it.
But when asked to release the tape, the White House balked.
As Yahoo News reported, Trump claimed that he was misquoted in a now-viral interview (one that came just as indictments were handed out against Russian officials for meddling in the 2016 election, with more indictments reportedly to come for Americans) in which he criticized the way May handled the Brexit and threatened to back out of a proposed trade deal with the U.K. Trump after claiming that a new trade deal with the United States would be a major benefit of the U.K. leaving the European Union. In a press conference on Friday that revolved mostly around Trump’s criticism of May, the American president claimed repeatedly that he was misquoted.
“I said tremendous things, and fortunately we tend to record stories now so we have it for your enjoyment if you’d like it,” Trump said. “We record when we deal with reporters. It’s called fake news, and we solve a lot of problems with the good old recording instrument.”
Trump also claimed that the White House press team would release the tape proving he did not criticize May, but when Yahoo News contacted the press shop for a copy of the tape, they did not release it. Instead, the White House only pointed to the positive things Trump said about May, with no mention of the tape.
“The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much. As he said in his interview with The Sun she ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her,'” the White House responded.
But Trump did have many bad things to say about Theresa May, criticizing her handling of Brexit and even hinting that he would support challenger Boris Johnson to become prime minister.
Donald Trump’s denials that he criticized May were immediately contradicted by the Sun, which the Washington Post points out is owned by the Trump-friendly Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch. The newspaper released lengthy clips of the interview that showed Trump saying that May did not take his advice on how to handle Brexit, saying she “wrecked it.”
Even before the interview with the Sun, Donald Trump’s visit to the U.K. was rocky as he was met with thousands of protesters. Earlier reports claimed that Trump asked May to ban protests during his visit, which she refused.