A Very British Row: May versus Trump

December 3, 2017

Presidential tweeting

A Very British row

Donald Trump’s rebuke to Theresa May was not just another tweet


Print edition | United States

EARLY morning fusillades of gibberish are nothing new in the Trump presidency. Nor is a tendency to attack allies, or to give encouragement to racist groups. On November 29th, though, the President achieved a rare triple. On waking he seems to have grabbed his phone to attack CNN, give air to an old conspiracy theory and broadcast propaganda from a hitherto obscure band of British xenophobes to his 43.6m Twitter followers. Later in the day he had a go at Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, whose office had earlier criticised him for thinking with his thumb. One sound strategy for staying sane in 2017 has been to ignore Mr Trump’s tweets. Yet this morning barrage revealed traits that go to the core of the man in the Oval Office.

Image result for Theresa May-Donald Row


One is an astonishing lack of curiosity about where information comes from. Britain First, whose nonsense the President retweeted, was until this week at the fringe of the fringe of far-right English politics. Its members are a hapless bunch, too boneheaded to conceal their animus against brown people. The group’s leader, Paul Golding, was expelled from the slightly more mainstream British National Party (BNP), which itself is marginal (it gained more than 1% of the vote in only three of Britain’s 650 parliamentary constituencies in the general election earlier this year). Mr Golding was deemed too racist for the BNP when he picked a fight with its only non-white council member. Mr Golding has a taste for actual fights, too: he has admitted a charge of assault. As hardly anyone in Britain had heard of Britain First, neither presumably had Mr Trump. But the group sounded like America First, which must have been flattering and therefore good. And it seemed to share Mr Trump’s views on Muslims, which was good, too. That was all the information the President needed before giving his endorsement.

Image result for Theresa May condemns Donald Trump on Britain First

A Special but Unequal Relationship as Trump browbeats Theresa May on Twitter.

A second characteristic is a thin skin. Despite the power of his office, Mr Trump often feels picked-upon. When Mrs May’s staff rebuked him for the Britain First stuff, he could not resist: “Theresa, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!” When Mr Trump was rebuked for criticising London’s (Muslim) mayor after a lethal terrorist attack, his tweets on the subject became more frenzied. Mr Trump felt similarly aggrieved when he was denounced for his equivocal response to a white-supremacist march in Charlottesville (“many sides” were to blame).

Mrs May, whose government badly wants a trade deal with America after Britain leaves the European Union, was taking a calculated risk. Most foreign leaders have already worked out that the president responds well to big parades and badly to well-intentioned criticism. In Mrs May’s case, though, the rebuke was worth it. Mr Trump has, amazingly, managed to unite MPs who can agree on little else right now, as well as to promote interfaith dialogue. Prominent British Muslims were joined in condemnation by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has previously said he thinks Mr Trump is a racist. After his election win last year, discussions about a state visit to Britain began. One sticking point was that Mr Trump wished the occasion to be optimised for pomp: gilded horse-drawn carriages and all. It was thought more prudent, if he came, to helicopter him in to the queen’s garden, avoiding crowds of protesters. If the state visit happened tomorrow, there might be a riot.

The good news, for transatlantic relations at least, is that Mr Trump’s tendency to go after steadfast allies can be put right, with a little stroking. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, was an early victim, but America’s policy towards it has barely changed. British Prime Ministers are obsequiously paranoid about maintaining what they see as the special relationship with America’s presidents. Moreover, the foundation of the relationship is shared intelligence and diplomacy, which is relatively tweet-resistant. In fact, for Mrs May, who is trying to negotiate the world’s most complicated divorce while hampered by unpopularity and a self-sabotaging cabinet, a spat with Mr Trump could be just what she needs.


9 thoughts on “A Very British Row: May versus Trump

  1. A stiff upper lip against a loose lower lip?

    The “Special Relationship” will sorely be tested.

    If Theresa thinks getting out of the EU means getting into the US, well, not while Trump is busy tweeting.

    • Loose lower lip? How about a loose brain which is scattered all over the place but mainly now residing where the sun don’t shine.

  2. Donald Trump,who got elected with the help of his puppet master,Putin has no respect for the office of the presidency.He treats the oval office as a whorehouse.The only thing he doesn’t know is that he is the head pimp.

    Horndog Donald Trump can tweet as much as he likes.After all,he is a seventy one year man in a seven years old boy’s body.While Teresa May will be laughing all the way to the bank,Donald Trump will be on his way out of the white house as an American pariah.

    Tillerson,who was rumored to be soon on pink slip,might be the one to to pardon Trump,if congress do not stop him.Pence,he is in this scandal as deep as his tiny thingy can go.Tillerson,as secretary of state is third in line of the presidency,if the top two are chase out of the white house in disgrace.

    • No, the Secretary of State is fourth in line, not third.

      Based on the present personnel: 1st in line is the Vice President, Mike Pence; 2nd in line is the Speaker of the House of Representative, Paul Ryan; 3rd in line is the President pro tempore of the Senate, Orrin Hatch; 4th in line is the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson; 5th in line is the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin; 6th in line is the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis….

      Hold your kudas, guys. Trump is not going anywhere until 2020. He may be reckless and whatever else, but he is not stupid with being the most powerful man in the world. 2018 maybe different. He will be planning his election for a 2nd. Term and screwing up the democrats. He is irritating but fun to watch since he is running circles around the media, CNN, Washington Post, The New York Time and The New Yorker. I am enjoying the show and the circus in 1600 Penn Avenue.–Din Merican.

    • /// Tillerson,who was rumored to be soon on pink slip,might be the one to to pardon Trump… ///

      Way to go T Rex – go and eat Trump and Pence as your lunch.

  3. Bruno is getting ahead of himself. Trump is not going anywhere yet and with almost half the population still supporting him, he is actually thinking of his second term in office. After all he simply cannot allow Obama to be one up on him. So sadly we are stuck with him. But who knows, anything can happen.

  4. Ha, ha! I hear you, Bang Din. I’m taking Trump as entertainment nowadays. I would agree with you that he might finish his term, for it is very difficult to impeach a president. But I strongly believe he is not going to be reelected for a second term, though he may try, for he already has his reelection committee running. From what I heard through the grapevine within the GOP, I strongly believe Trump is kaput and finito. His collusion with Russia is real. And Trump Jr. and Kushner will be criminally charged, which will put Trump in a dilemma of to pardon or not to pardon them.

    Yes, Trump can pardon them, but it’s definitely going to backfire. If Trump Jr. or Kushner were preemptively pardoned, they wouldn’t be able to plead the Fifth Amendment if they were called to testify against Trump. The Fifth Amendment protects citizens against self-incrimination. But if someone has been pardoned, they no longer face the threat of prosecution, and so they can’t use a desire to avoid incriminating themselves as an excuse not to answer a question. So in addition to potentially obstructing justice, Trump would only leave himself more vulnerable if he decided to pardon anyone currently under investigation. Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t pull the trigger anyway. He’s a unpredictable lunatic. But he might want to think long and hard about the implications before he does.

    There is, however, one scenario in which Trump could save himself and others from potential prosecution – take a page out of the Nixon scenario: Trump pardons them (Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, and whoever) as he is exiting the White House and Trump exits early, allowing Pence (or whoever succeeding him, for Pence is also in trouble) to become president, and Pence then pardons Trump. Trump will then have successfully shielded himself and his colleagues from criminal liability.

    Trump is reacting to this with an enraged meltdown and lost his mind. I remember my maternal grandfather told me about the story of Empress Dowager’s enraged meltdown when hearing the name of Sun Yat Sen, who eventually overthrew the Manchu Dynasty. (My grandfather was a royalty in Manchu China. So he knew a lot of stories in the Forbidden City.) I believe Donald Trump is having the same reaction when hearing the name of Robert Mueller.

    The White House has long leaked information to the press that Trump is suffering from the early stage of dementia. As Robert Mueller is closing in on to his inner circle, Trump has been described as increasingly delusional. Wall Street Journal has reported the troubling news that Melania Trump has taken over the role of being his central adviser. Melania is now the gatekeeper to Trump, which means that in many ways she is the one who is running the country. Trump’s decline is increasingly obvious, but what no one counted is the First Lady pulling the strings behind closed doors.
    Trump will pardon Trump Jr. and SIL Kushner even it means losing the re-election. His ties to family are strong. He has the power to pardon. It is not smart not to use to save them. That is a viewpoint. LaMoy. –Din Merican

    • LaMoy, you left out the 12th in line, which is Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A plot line used for the interesting Netflix tv series “Designated Survivor”, starring Keifer Sutherland.

  5. Since Trump considers himself as Emperor of USA, or maybe the World, I would have imagined his eldest child would succeed him?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.