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Axios Visuals

President Trump, in an interview with the popular British newspaper the Sun, criticizes Prime Minister Theresa May's handling of Brexit, says the mayor of London doesn't do enough to fight terrorism, and said May's rival Boris Johnson would make a "great prime minister."

Why this matters from Axios World Editor David Lawler: May is in the fight of her life with hardliners within her own party, and President Trump — while visiting the U.K. — has just openly sided with the rivals that may attempt to force her from power.

In the interview, Trump said May "had ignored his advice by opting for a soft Brexit strategy" and said any possible trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. would be wrecked by May's strategy of keeping close ties to the EU.

Thought bubble, from Axios' Jonathan Swan in London: This is literally the exact opposite of what the Brits were hoping for from this trip. They were eager to improve the relationship between Theresa May and Donald Trump. They were hoping for support from Trump — and a signal to voters that there’s a positive road ahead with May’s Brexit plan. They wanted Trump to talk up the possibility of a U.S.-Britain bilateral trade deal. In this interview he trashes that idea, rubbishes her approach to negotiating Brexit, and props up her political nemesis and future leadership rival Boris Johnson.

In more details (as bulleted by the Sun) Trump:

  • Accused EU leaders of destroying its culture and identity by allowing in millions of migrants
  • Tore into London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not standing up to terrorists
  • Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital
  • Insisted former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would make “a great Prime Minister”.
  • Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher”
  • Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings
  • Demanded Britain and other Nato countries spend more on defence
  • Spoke of his sadness at feeling unwelcome in the capital by anti-Trump protesters
  • Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies
  • Told of his pride at taking wife Melania to meet the Queen

White House statement on the interview: “The President likes and respects Prime Minister May very much. As he said in his interview with the Sun she “is a very good person” and he “never said anything bad about her”. He thought she was great on NATO today and is a really terrific person. He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the Prime Minister here in the U.K.”

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker