Donald Trump has said he would have negotiated Brexit with a “different” and “tougher” attitude to Theresa May.
The US president said the European Union was “not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be” and claimed he was unsurprised by the result of the Brexit referendum because Britons “don’t want people coming from all over the world into Britain”.
The comments could be seized on by Brexiteers to urge the Prime Minister to be harder in Brexit talks, but Remainers could attack Leavers for sharing views with the controversial and divisive president.
They could also be seen as a blow for Mrs May following her largely successful meeting with Mr Trump in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.
The president replied: “Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s (being) negotiated… I would have had a different attitude.”
In extracts released to the Mail on Sunday, he went on: “I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be.
“I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.”
Mr Trump also suggested he predicted Brexit.
The president said: “I said (that) because of trade, but mostly immigration, Brexit is going to be a big upset. And I was right.”
He added: “I know the British people and understand them. They don’t want people coming from all over the world into Britain, they don’t know anything about these people.”
Mr Trump also claimed Mrs May invited him to the UK twice this year during their meeting at the Swiss ski resort.
But Downing Street did not confirm the newspaper’s claim that an informal visit in July would be followed by a state visit in October.
A Number 10 source said: “An invitation has been extended and accepted and details will be set out in due course.”