Trump backs 'fantastic' Boris over 'bad' Corbyn
London: US President Donald Trump ruffled a few feathers in the UK with an intervention on the country's upcoming General Election by backing his "friend" UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and categorising Opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn as "so bad" for Britain.
In an interview with LBC Radio with host and far-right Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage on the phone overnight on Thursday, Trump pushed for an alliance between the Conservatives and Farage's party as an "unstoppable" force for the December 12 polls.
"I have great relationships with many of the leaders, including Boris who's a fantastic man I think he's the exact right guy for the times," Trump said.
"I know that you and him will end up doing something that could be terrific if you and he get together it's [an] unstoppable force," he said.
In reference to Corbyn, the US President was scathing.
"Corbyn would be so bad for your country, he'd be so bad, he'd take you in such a bad way. He'd take you into such bad places. But your country has tremendous potential, it's a great country," Trump said.
The remarks prompted Corbyn to take to Twitter to accuse the US President of "trying to interfere" in Britain's internal affairs to get "his friend Boris Johnson elected".
However, in his characteristic style, Trump went on to also criticise Johnson for his Brexit deal struck with the European Union (EU), as damaging for US-UK trade relations, forcing Downing Street to dismiss the concerns. Trump said, "Under certain aspects of the deal you can't do it [sign a trade deal with the US]. You can't do it, you can't trade, we can't make a trade deal with the UK.
"I think we can do many times the numbers that we're doing right now and certainly much bigger numbers than you're doing under the EU. So, I know Boris wants to be very careful of that."
In response, a Downing Street spokesperson said the UK prime minister's Brexit deal with the EU ensures control of laws, trade, borders and money.
"Under this new deal the whole of the UK will leave the EU customs union, which means we can strike our own free trade deals around the world, from which every part of the UK will benefit," the spokesperson said. UK ministers were also quick to dismiss the idea of any kind of an election pact between the Tories and Farage's Brexit Party.
"We're not interested in doing any pacts with the Brexit Party or anyone else. We're in it to win it," said UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The Brexit Party has been under pressure to decide between fielding a large number of candidates, which may end up benefitting the opposition Labour Party, or to concentrate resources on a small number of potentially winnable hard Brexit seats.
The snap election in December was pushed through by Johnson to try and win a majority after he failed to win support for his EU withdrawal agreement in the UK Parliament in time for the October 31 deadline, due to his minority Tory government.
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