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British journalist Piers Morgan scored the only TV interview with Donald Trump during the U.S. President’s controversial four-day trip to the U.K., which came to an end Monday morning when he flew to Finland to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The interview, Morgan’s fourth with Trump — whom he calls a “good friend” — took place aboard Air Force One, with clips aired Monday morning on ITV’s Good Morning Britain breakfast news show, which Morgan fronts. The whole interview is set to air on ITV later in the day.
The conversation, which appeared to lack any in-depth questioning, touched on the president’s meeting with the Queen, his thoughts on Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and his controversial immigration policy, with Morgan also learning that Trump had personalized White House M&M boxes, which bear the president’s signature on the back.
Trump revealed that his 45-minute meeting with the Queen was sentimental, for his mother was a big fan of Elizabeth II.
“I was thinking about my mother. My mother passed away a while ago, and she was a tremendous fan of the Queen. She thought she was a woman of elegance, and my mother felt she was a great woman,” Morgan recalled Trump explaining. “I remember even as a little guy, if there was any kind of a ceremony to do with the Queen, my mother would be watching the television — she wanted to see it.”
Trump praised the Queen for being “so sharp,” “wise” and “beautiful,” as well as someone who was easy to talk to. “You know, it’s hard to talk to somebody if you’re, sort of, if there’s not that something special,” he said. “You know that better than anybody. Sometimes you’ll have a guest on where no matter what you do it’s not working, right? And then sometimes it’s magic. We had a great, a great feeling.”
The president also appeared to break an unwritten rule in describing what was said in his conversation with the Queen, claiming she thought Brexit was a “very complex problem.”
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 16, 2018
When asked his opinion on Prince Harry’s recent nuptials to Meghan Markle, Trump shared positive sentiments, Morgan says: “I like Harry, I’ve never met him, but I’ve always liked Harry. I like the whole family to be honest, they have a good energy.”
The president also stood by his controversial comments regarding Theresa May and her Brexit plan, which he had attacked in an interview with The Sun published just hours before he landed in the U.K.
“I think my position is the same — I just think it’s really their choice. And if you speak to the Prime Minister, she’s really saying: ‘No, it is Brexit, it is what it was, but we’re leaving certain things.’”
Trump argued that her plan is “worse” for the U.K. than it would be for America. After suggesting that May offer a “brutal opinion” at a press conference, Trump remained mum about what that exact opinion was. “I gave her an option, I’d rather not tell you what that option is, but I think she might. I think it would’ve been great, but it’s not too late for her to do that necessarily.”
Trump also commented on Britain’s immigration, which he found “very sad.” “I think the people of the U.K. want to have who they want in their country.… Some of the countries would not take it. And they’re being really admonished by the European Union for not doing it.”
While the U.S. President visited London, numerous anti-Trump protests took place, with up to 250,000 people estimated to have taken to the streets in London, and the now-infamous Trump baby blimp taking to the skies. The president remained unfazed when the subject was brought up, claiming that there were “many protests” in his favor as well.
Despite being criticized for his administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, Trump continued to blame former President Barack Obama for the separation of parents and children who had illegally crossed the border. “That wasn’t my policy,” he said, “Obama had the same exact policy. In fact, they were showing pictures of kids separated from their parents and they say, isn’t this terrible. And it was pictures of 2014.”
Trump also addressed his recent meetings with Jong-un and Putin. Of the Korean leader, Trump said, “Sure he is, he’s ruthless, but so are others. I mean, I could name plenty of others that we deal with that you don’t say the same thing about. I mean plenty of the people that I deal with are pretty ruthless people.”
As for Putin, Trump said that they’re simply “competitors.” “I think we could probably get along very well. Somebody said are you friends or enemies? I said well it’s too early to say but right now I say we’re competitors but for the United States, and frankly the U.K. and other places, to get along with Russia and China and all of these other places.… Piers that’s a good thing, that’s not a bad thing. That’s a really good thing.”
Much of the content of the interview had already been revealed by Morgan in an article in the Daily Mail.
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