President Donald Trump insisted on Sunday that he never called Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and the wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, “nasty”, despite an audio recording of an interview showing he did.
- Mr Trump said the comment was ‘fake news’ and demanded an apology from media outlets
- The audio recording published by The Sun reveals Mr Trump said “she was nasty”
- The comments come ahead of Mr Trump’s state visit to the UK this week
The president was discussing Meghan in a recent interview with Britain’s The Sun newspaper in the run-up to his state visit to the UK on Monday.
“I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Trump, in fact, did use the word “nasty” to describe Meghan when asked about her comments about him during the 2016 campaign.
In audio of the interview posted on the newspaper’s website, Mr Trump discusses the upcoming state visit, his second meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and the Trump family members who are tagging along on the trip.
The reporter then asks about Meghan, who isn’t joining other royals to meet Mr Trump and his wife, Melania, due to the recent birth of her first child, Archie, in May.
Asked if he was sorry to miss out on meeting the American-born Meghan and told that she “wasn’t so nice about you” during the campaign, Mr Trump said: “I didn’t know that. No, I hope she’s OK. I did not know that.”
When told that Meghan once said she might move to Canada if Mr Trump was elected, Mr Trump responded: “No, I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
Meghan Markle supported Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, in 2016, calling Mr Trump “divisive” and “misogynistic”.
The former actor also said she might move to Canada.
She married Prince Harry in 2018 and moved to Britain.
In the Sun interview, Trump also spoke positively about Meghan when asked whether it was good for an American to be a member of the British royal family.
“I think it’s nice. I’m sure she will do excellently. She’ll be very good,” Mr Trump said.
Preparing for a President
Security personnel and police officers were guarding the entrance to the United States’ ambassador’s residence in London on Sunday, a day before Mr Trump’s arrival.
Footage showed American flags alongside UK flags near various London landmarks, including the Horse Guards Parade and Admiralty Arch.
For the Queen, the arrival of Trump, his family and his armoured entourage on Monday means a full day of ceremony and toasts topped by a magnificent banquet at Buckingham Palace.
There will be a formal tea on Monday afternoon hosted by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla for Mr Trump and the first lady.
On the political front, Mr Trump plans to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, just days before she steps down on Friday as Conservative Party leader, kicking off a race to succeed her as prime minister.
Ms May extended an invitation to Mr Trump on behalf of the Queen in an Oval Office visit in the first week of his administration.
The move prompted street protests in the UK, an online petition signed by more than one million opposed to the idea, and a debate in Parliament over whether Mr Trump deserved the highest honour that Britain can bestow on a foreign leader.
His brief working visit to Britain last year coincided with the debut of the “Trump baby balloon”, an inflatable piece of conceptual art that depicts the President as a baby wearing a nappy.
Much of this visit will be given over to social events and to the D-Day commemorations.
But some serious topics are to be discussed, including the Trump administration’s determined effort to prevent Britain from relying on Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of its 5G communications network.
Traditional trappings scaled back
A state visit is a relatively rare honour for a US President: Only Barack Obama in 2011 and George W Bush in 2003 have received the coveted invitations, which are offered based on advice from British Foreign Office officials, not the whim of the Queen.
Some of the traditional trappings of an official state visit are likely being scaled back.
Usually a horse-drawn carriage procession brings the visiting dignitary to the grounds of Buckingham Palace, escorted by mounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry as gun salutes are fired from Green Park and the Tower of London.
Officials have not said whether that will happen this time, possibly due to security concerns.
The Trumps will not be staying at Buckingham Palace, where state visitors usually lodge, because of renovations underway at the Queen’s 775-room official residence.
They are expected to stay at Winfield House, the spacious home of the US ambassador to Britain.