Brexit firebrand Farage is first British politician to meet Trump
The meeting will be seen by some as an embarrassment for British Prime Minister Theresa May who spoke with Trump by telephone last week, but has yet to meet him in person
Leading Brexit campaigner and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage visited US President-elect Donald Trump at his home in New York City and a Trump aide said the pair had a “very productive” meeting.
“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, spending 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.
Farage later tweeted a photograph of himself with Trump, both men standing in front of a pair of golden doors and smiling broadly, the president-elect giving the camera a thumbs-up.
“It was a great honour to spend time with @realDonaldTrump,” Farage wrote on Twitter. “He was relaxed and full of good ideas. I’m confident he will be a good President.”
Farage said Trump’s support for the relationship between Britain and the United States was very strong. “This is a man with whom we can do business,” he tweeted.
He had been especially pleased, Farage added, at Trump’s “very positive reaction” to the idea that a bust of former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill be put back in the Oval Office.
A day after Trump’s election victory, Farage told a British radio station he was “absolutely happy” and called on the US 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 US president-elect, and one UKIP official has suggested Farage be the next British ambassador to the United States.
Farage, who spoke at a Trump rally during the election campaign, had predicted the former reality TV host would tap into the same dissatisfaction among voters that led to Britain deciding on June 23 to leave the European Union, or Brexit.
Trump made repeated references to Brexit during his campaign, saying it had highlighted the desire for change among voters frustrated with traditional politics.