- Will Oliver/Pool via REUTERS
- British Prime Minister Theresa May’s staffers find it incredibly awkward and cringeworthy to deal with President Donald Trump, Downing Street sources told HuffPost UK.
- The US president has appeared unable to focus on a single topic and keeps repeating himself, the sources said.
- On several occasions, HuffPost reported, Trump has begun conversations with May by saying, “So, have ya Brexited yet?” like they had never met before.
- One source described Trump as “undiplomatic and really like a golf club bore.”
- Trump is visiting Britain for four days for an informal “working” visit.
LONDON – President Donald Trump is being treated to displays of military equipment, tea with the queen, and a black-tie dinner at Winston Churchill’s ancestral home during his visit to Britain this week.
But some of Prime Minister Theresa May’s staffers find it incredibly awkward to deal with Trump, Downing Street sources told HuffPost UK’s Paul Waugh.
Over the past two years, Waugh reported, Trump has called May several times on the phone with the same cheesy opening line: “So, have ya Brexited yet?”
A former May staffer told HuffPost: “It’s like ‘Groundhog Day,’ like you’ve never met him before … It’s every time he starts the call. Everyone rolls their eyes as if to say ‘you know nothing,’ but of course Theresa just sidesteps it.”
Conversations between the two then go downhill from there, the report says.
‘It’s like pinning jelly to a wall’
Trump has appeared unable to focus in conversations, a former insider told HuffPost.
At Trump and May’s first in-person meeting at the White House last year, Trump’s national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, attempted to flatter May by saying they had agreed to her visit before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s, HuffPost reported, citing an eyewitness.
But the eyewitness said Flynn’s comment prompted Trump to say: “You didn’t tell me that. Why not?” He went on to lecture Flynn, “while May and her team looked on, amazed,” the report says.
“It was jaw-dropping, the whole thing, from beginning to end,” a former insider told the news site. “It’s like pinning jelly to a wall. He has got no attention span, in fact I thought he had some kind of ADHD by the time we left. He was all over the place.
“And his team are so subservient to him, ‘yes sir,’ ‘no sir.’ It was pathetic, grown men like [Mike] Pence acting like puppies,” the source added, referring to the US vice president.
Even “trying to have consistent conversations was difficult,” the source said.
- Mark Wilson / Getty
‘Naïve,’ ‘undiplomatic,’ and ‘really like a golf club bore’
“The overwhelming impression you got was this was someone who was completely naïve about the world of government,” a source told HuffPost of Trump.
The source said Trump told May at one point, “Theresa, I get these briefings every day, you wouldn’t believe it!”
“She must have thought ‘I think I would, you know,'” the source added.
The insider described Trump as “undiplomatic and really like a golf club bore,” saying that he didn’t like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that May was “going to love” Rex Tillerson, whom Trump would hire as secretary of state.
May was “incredibly diplomatic, batted things back,” the insider said.