LONDON (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump called the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. “the highest level of special” during a joint news conference Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The two leaders spoke after meeting at Chequers, the prime ministers country estate.
“I want to thank you for the honor of visiting the United Kingdom, a special place,” Trump told May at the news conference. “My mother was born here. It means something maybe just a little bit extra, maybe a lot extra. We had a wonderful visit.”
The president said May is “doing a fantastic job” as British prime minister and said “I think shes a terrific woman.”
Reporters questioned Trump and May on a variety of topics, including NATO, Brexit, immigration and other issues.
When asked what he hopes to accomplish in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Trump said they would be talking about Ukraine, Syria and other parts of the Middle East as well as nuclear proliferation.
“Im not going in with high expectations but we may come out with surprising things,” Trump said. “Relationship is very important.”
The president also said he would bring up Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The prime ministers Brexit plans was likely a focus of Fridays discussions. In a newspaper interview, Trump was critical of Mays proposals for exiting the European Union.
When asked about the interview, Trump said, “I didnt criticize the prime minister. I have a lot of respect for the prime minister.”
May praised the bond between the U.S. and the U.K., but said “it is all of our responsibility to ensure that trans-Atlantic unity endures.”
On immigration, Trump said it has been “very bad” for Europe. May said the U.K. has a “proud history of welcoming people who want to come to our country to contribute to our economy and contribute to our society.”
“Over the years, overall immigration has been good for the U.K.,” she said. “Of course, what is important is that we have control of our borders.”
Later Friday, Queen Elizabeth will welcome the president, which will include a formal tea at Windsor Castle.
Trump will end his day with a trip to his Turnberry golf club course in Scotland.