Trump was being a gentleman, May says on holding hands

The British PM has been criticised for failing to take the US president to task on contentious issues

Reuters March 21, 2017
US President Donald Trump escorts British Prime Minister Theresa May after their meeting at the White House in Washington, US, January 27, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Donald Trump was being a gentleman, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, describing when the US president held her hand during her visit to Washington earlier this year.

In an interview with US magazine Vogue, May played down the importance of the two leaders holding hands. "I think he was actually being a gentleman," she said. "We were about to walk down a ramp, and he said it might be a bit awkward."

May was the first foreign leader to meet Trump after his inauguration as president, and her visit was hailed by her aides as a resounding success in cementing the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States.

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But she has been criticised by opposition lawmakers for failing to take the US president to task on contentious issues in order to win promises for future trade as Britain navigates its departure from the European Union.

"I like to think we got on," she told Vogue. "We don't comment on private conversations that take place. All I would say is, I've been very clear: I'm not afraid to raise issues. And the nature of the relationship is such that we should be able to be frank and open with each other."

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