During a Friday press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, President Donald Trump insisted that an interview in which he blasted the English leader was “fake news.”
In the interview, which Trump gave to the British tabloid The Sun, he made a number of remarks critical of May, specifically about her handling of the Brexit negotiations.
At one point during the conversation, he said “The deal that she’s striking is not what the people voted on.” He went on to say that the Brexit deal will “definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way.”
But during the Friday press conference, Trump denied making those statements, saying, “I didn’t criticize the prime minister, I have a lot of respect for the prime minister,” adding, “It’s called ‘fake news.”
The president also claimed that his team had recorded the interview, saying, “Fortunately, we tend to record stories now, so we have it for your enjoyment if you would like it. But we record when we deal with reporters.” However, The Sun had already released the audio of the interview in which Trump is heard criticizing Theresa May.
Pres. Trump denies interview with The Sun was critical of Prime Minister Theresa May.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 13, 2018
Though Trump says that he recorded the interview, the White House has not yet released the tapes or a transcript.
The president also made a number of other eyebrow-raising remarks during his interview with The Sun. At one point, he praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, calling him “a very talented guy” and “a great representative for your country.” When asked about defense spending, Trump echoed the remarks that he made during the recent NATO summit, saying that other countries aren’t spending enough on defense.
On immigration, he said, “I think what’s happened to Europe is a shame, I think the immigration — allowing the immigration to take place is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe.”
The Sun responded to Trump on Friday, calling his remarks “fake news”:
The Sun responds to Trump: “To say the President called us ‘fake news’ with any serious intent is, well… fake news.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 13, 2018
This isn’t the first time that Trump has been duped by his own words. In January, he claimed that the Wall Street Journal misquoted him when he said that he had a “great relationship” with Kim Jong Un. In response, the Journal released audio of the interview and stood by their statement.
Trump has had a rocky relationship with England since assuming office. He’s regularly attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan. In the interview with The Sun, he accused Khan of “[doing] a terrible job” and said, “Take a look at the terrorism that’s going on.”
And his foreign negotiations are about to get a lot more tense. On Monday, the president will head to Helsinki where he is participating in a summit with Vladimir Putin.