Europe

Theresa May lashes out at Donald Trump during final days in office

Theresa May has slammed Donald Trump’s ‘racist’ attack on a group democrat congresswomen as ‘completely unacceptable’.

Mr Trump said four outspoken liberal representatives should ‘go back and help fix’ their ‘broken and crime infested’ countries.

This is despite the fact all of them are American citizens and only one was born outside the US.

On Sunday night, Mr Trump said it was ‘so sad’ to see Democrats supporting the women.

He did not name the four, but is believed to have been referring to congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

Trump appeared to be jumping to the defence of Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was accused of marginalising women of colour by trying to limit Ocasio-Cortez’s influence.

Speaking on behalf of Theresa May, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘Her view is that the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable.’

But the spokesman said he was not aware of any plans for Mrs May to speak to the President before she departs Downing Street on July 24.

Trump said the four congresswomen ‘originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.’

Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in suburban Westchester County.

Pressley, the first black woman elected to the House from Massachusetts, was born in Cincinnati.

Omar, the first Somali native elected to Congress and one of its first Muslim women, was born in Somalia but spent much of her childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp as civil war tore apart her home country.

She immigrated to the United States at 12 and taught herself English by watching American TV and eventually settled with her family in Minneapolis. Tlaib was born in Detroit.

Pelosi distanced herself from Trump’s intervention, criticising him for ‘xenophobic comment’s meant to divide our nation’.

Many senior Democracts including presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke condemned the remarks as ‘racist’.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the president’s comments were ‘not OK and diplomatic politeness should not stop us saying so, loudly and clearly’.

Despite the backlash , Mr Trump has remained unrepentant, suggesting the congresswomen should apologise.

The latest row follows the storm created by the leak of sensitive diplomatic messages from the UK’s ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, which prompted the envoy’s resignation.

Sir Kim resigned last week saying his position had become ‘impossible’ following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he described Donald Trump’s White House as ‘inept’ and ‘dysfunctional’.

Trump was left rattled by the comments, and took a swing for Sir Kim, calling him ‘stupid and whacky’ and saying he would ‘no longer deal’ with him.

He took a dig at Mrs May, saying she was ‘foolish’ over her handling of a ‘disastrous’ Brexit.

The President tweeted: ‘The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister.

‘While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with.’

The Metropolitan Police are investigating the leak, but have been accused of being ‘heavy handed’ in their approach to the reporting of further releases.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis called for senior officer Neil Basu to be pulled from the investigation after he urged journalists in possession of leaked Government documents to return them, warning any further publication from the dispatches could result in prosecution.

Mr Davis wrote to the Times accusing Mr Basu of ‘straying beyond his brief’ and called for commissioner Cressida Dick to put the investigation in the hands of ‘an officer who puts preservation of our free press ahead of protection of the state’s reputation’.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee Damian Collins urged the force to focus on the leaker, rather than the media publishing the leaks.

He told the Sun: ‘Neil Basu’s statement was clearly a threat aimed at newspaper editors encouraging them not to report on a story, in which there is clear public interest’.

Downing Street refused to be drawn on assistant commissioner Mr Basu’s comments.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘The leak was completely unacceptable and the person who leaked the documents should now face the consequences.

‘I’m not going to comment on an ongoing investigation and it’s important that the police are now able to get on with their work.’

He said the investigation to identify the leaker ‘has the government’s full support’.

He added that Mrs May believes a free press is ‘one of the foundations on which our democracy rests’.

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