President Donald Trump hosted U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House on Friday in what was his first meeting with a foreign head of state. The meeting marked the beginning of the “special relationship” between the two nations that May had spoken of after news of the meeting broke earlier this week, at which point May said she wouldn’t confront Trump about the issue of sexism.
After the meeting, Trump and May held a joint press conference where they discussed some of the issues the two touched on in their one-on-one and affirmed the special relationship. May also flattered Trump during the press conference, congratulating him on his “stunning election victory,” before trying to persuade Trump to back certain issues the two haven’t necessarily agreed on. On NATO, May said Trump assured her in their meeting that he is “100 percent” behind the longtime alliance, which in the past he has dismissed as “obsolete.” May went on to strike a critical tone on Russia and said that sanctions against the country should not be lifted, something Trump has suggested he might do in the early days of his presidency.
Just after their meeting, Trump and May were photographed holding hands — his red tie almost exactly matching the shade of her red dress — as they walked along with pathway outside the Oval Office. In light of May’s “special relationship” remarks, at least one British tabloid had a field day with the chummy-looking photos on the cover of its Saturday edition.
May has taken heat in Britain from lawmakers — some in her own party — who have accused her of groveling in front of Trump. Others have gone so far as to publicly wonder whether the prime minister is willing to overlook some of Trump’s more extreme policy positions, particularly his advocacy of torture and his plan to implement extreme vetting of refugees from the Middle East. It’s a sentiment the photos of the two leaders holding hands is unlikely alleviate.
Watch a portion of their joint press conference below.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.