Donald Trump: Theresa May told she was 'weak' during phone call with president, report claims

30 June 2020, 08:24 | Updated: 30 June 2020, 17:44

Donald Trump "bullied and demeaned" Theresa May during phone calls when she was the prime minister, a report has claimed.

The US president is said to have told Mrs May she was "weak" and "lacked courage" during her tenure, while allegedly telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel she was "stupid".

The details of the conversations have been published by Carl Bernstein, one of two former Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate Scandal, on CNN.

He spoke to White House and intelligence officials who are aware of the contents of the calls and said Mr Trump "posed a danger to the national security of the United States".

A source who was part of Mrs May's calls with the president said the claims about the former prime minister were "patently untrue".

They told Sky News: "The conversations weren't always easy because she would disagree with him, but the characterisation of his attitude to her or her response to him is just nonsense, it's patently untrue."

In addition to the conversations with Mrs May and Ms Merkel, Mr Trump is claimed to have been "under prepared" for conversations with leaders of other countries and would often try to "charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will".

CNN added he "often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest".

The claims come after Mr Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, told Sky News that the president "has trouble with women leaders".

While Mr Trump and Mrs May maintained a good yet strained relationship during her time as prime minister from 2016 to 2019, he later was critical of her handling of Brexit.

This was in particular after leaked diplomatic cables revealed the former US ambassador Kim Darroch described the Trump administration as "dysfunctional" and "inept". Mr Darroch later resigned from his post.

In response to the comments, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "I have been very critical about the way the UK and prime minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way."

In 2017, she also had to condemn his actions after he retweeted a handful of anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of a British far-right group.

But despite pressure to cancel his state visit after he posted the videos, it went ahead last year.

In response to CNN'S article, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews told the news organisation: "President Trump is a world class negotiator who has consistently furthered America's interests on the world stage.

:: Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker

"From negotiating the phase one China deal and the USMCA to NATO allies contributing more and defeating ISIS, President Trump has shown his ability to advance America's strategic interests."

A German federal government spokesman for Ms Merkel declined to comment.

Sky News has contacted Theresa May and the White House for further comment.