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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

LONDON — After roiling the NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump — always dicey as a guest — crossed the North Sea and is doing the same in England.

The bottom line: This could have been an isle of pomp and calm ahead of next week's summit with Vladimir Putin. Instead, it's the Brits' nightmare scenario.

Why it matters: Trump continues to disrupt national politics not just in the U.S. but around the world.

At a time when Prime Minister Theresa May is so weak there's speculation about whether her government will fall over softness on Brexit, Trump knifed her in an interview that the tabloid Sun (Britain's biggest paper) ran under the headline, "I told May how to do Brexit but she wrecked it — the US trade deal is off."

  • In what the Rupert Murdoch paper called "his incendiary verdict on her negotiating strategy," Trump even suggested that her nemesis Boris Johnson, the conservative who resigned from her government this week, would "make a great Prime Minister."
  • The paper said the comments "pour nitroglycerine on the already raging Tory Brexiteer revolt against the PM."
  • The N.Y. Times' online headline: "With May’s Government Teetering, Trump Gives It a Shove."

Hear audio of The Sun interview.

Why does Trump do it?

  • This is Trump saying whatever's on his mind and damn the consequences — always playing to his base, and refusing to put himself in another leader's shoes.
  • Trump's doesn't have a great relationship with May, but it's not as bad as his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Swan notes the irony that the Brits tried to be super-cordial — scheduling Trump outside central London and its massive protests against him, including a "baby Trump" blimp with the president wearing a diaper.

  • There's lots of fanfare and tributes to Trump, a well-rehearsed international blueprint perfected by the Saudis and then the Chinese.
  • The Brits view his visit to Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill's birthplace, as a unique “first” for Trump, appealing to his self-conception as a latter-day Churchill.
  • Then tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.

Be smart ... A source close to Trump said: "Part of the Trump playbook is keeping people off balance at all times. This could have been a victory lap. But the chaos isn't the means — it's the end."

Take note: Sarah Sanders issued this clean-up statement after the interview detonated:

"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.”
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Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.