President Donald Trump’s barbs at Germany and the European Union get the headlines, but no ally has been more tormented by him than the United Kingdom, to which he will make a state visit next week.
Over the past two and a half years, the president has interfered in the U.K.’s domestic politics. He has repeatedly undermined its national security with his comments and actions after terrorist attacks in Britain. He has bullied and humiliated the prime minister, Theresa May. He has accused British intelligence agencies of spying on him, even after he promised not to do so. Trump has taken a predatory approach in trade talks, seeking to squeeze controversial concessions out of London at a moment of weakness, even at the risk of sabotaging the prime minister’s Brexit deal. He refused to listen to the British government on vital issues of shared concern, such as Iran and climate change.
The special relationship is arguably at its lowest point since the Suez crisis of 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower pulled the rug out from underneath Britain and France’s attempt to retake the Suez Canal. If this sounds like an exaggeration, just consider the track record.
On November 22, 2016, shortly after his election as president, Trump met with Nigel Farage in Trump Tower and tweeted:
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
The meeting caused consternation in London, with Downing Street saying, “There is no vacancy.”