Britain’s UKIP leader Farage meets Donald Trump in New York
“We’re just tourists!” Farage joked with reporters after he was seen waiting for an elevator in the skyscraper’s lobby.
In brief comments later to reporters, Kellyanne Conway, manager of Trump’s election campaign, confirmed the pair met while the president-elect was upstairs in the Trump Tower, enjoying time with his family, receiving phone calls and visitors.
“I think they enjoy each other’s company, and they actually had a chance to talk about freedom and winning and what this all means for the world,” Conway said of the Farage meeting.
A day after Trump’s election victory, Farage told a British radio station he was “absolutely happy” and called on the U.S. real estate mogul to reverse “loathsome” Barack Obama’s policy by making Britain his top priority.
He also joked about sexual assault allegations against Trump, urging him to “schmooze” British Prime Minister Theresa May – but not touch her. He said he could attend any meeting to be the “responsible adult to make sure everything is OK.”
Farage has told the BBC he is willing to help May’s government build bridges with the U.S. president-elect, and one UKIP official has suggested Farage be the next British ambassador to the United States.
Farage first UK politician to meet Trump since election
- 11 minutes ago
Nigel Farage has become the first British politician to meet Donald Trump since he became US president-elect.
A UKIP spokesman said the interim party leader discussed “freedom and winning” with Mr Trump on a visit to Trump Tower in New York.
Mr Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway said the meeting had been “very productive”.
Downing Street said Mr Farage had “no role” in the government’s relationship with the incoming US administration.
Ms Conway said: “They enjoy each other’s company and they had the opportunity to talk about freedom and winning and what all this means for the world.”
A UKIP source said the meeting had “made the prime minister look very foolish”.
By Iain Watson, political correspondent
UKIP sources told me that Nigel Farage has made the prime minister look “very foolish”. And on the surface it is embarrassing.
Theresa May will not be meeting the president-elect until next year – yet a UK opposition politician has already popped in for a chat.
But Downing Street say they are relaxed about it; that Mrs May has already spoken to Mr Trump by telephone and there will be no role – formal or otherwise – for Mr Farage as a “go-between” with the new US administration.
Yet there are political dangers for the prime minister. Mrs May certainly will not be welcoming this opportunity for UKIP to bask in the reflected glory of a Trump victory.
People were asking what was the point of the party after the Brexit referendum – so the prime minister really will not want them resurrected as the “British Trumps”- the voice of forgotten voters.
She will have to renew efforts to claim that mantle for herself.
Mr Farage earlier told US media that Mrs May’s team had been “quite rude” about Mr Trump, “so there are some fences to be mended”.
“Trump is an Anglophile, he understands and recognises what our two great nations have done together between us,” he told Fox News.
“And, thank goodness, we are coming towards the end of an American president who loathed Britain.
“One of the things we can do, we can have between us a sensible trade relationship, cut tariffs, we are massive investors in each other’s countries. There’s a bright future.”
When asked ahead of the meeting if Mr Trump had invited him, Mr Farage joked to reporters: “We’re just tourists.”
Mrs May plans to visit Mr Trump in the first three months of next year after his inauguration.