UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said Donald Trump was “wrong” to retweet posts from a British far-right group.
But she stressed the “special relationship” between Britain and the US was “in both our nations’ interests” and should continue.
And she rejected calls to cancel a state visit by the US president.
Speaking on a visit to Jordan, she said: “An invitation for a state visit has been extended and has been accepted. We have yet to set a date.”
Quizzed about Mr Trump’s tweets, she said: “The fact that we work together does not mean that we’re afraid to say when we think the United States has got it wrong, and be very clear with them.
“And I’m very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.”
On Wednesday the US president retweeted three videos posted by the British far-right group.
When a Downing Street spokesman said he had been “wrong” to do so the president hit back:
It’s clear at this point that Donald Trump won’t let a perceived slight or criticism go unanswered – even if it’s from a supposed friend. Even if it’s from the leader of the president’s closest international ally.
So shock isn’t exactly the right word to describe the reaction to Mr Trump’s initially botched attempt to tell Theresa May to, in effect, mind her own business. This is just another example of the US president’s self-described “modern-day presidential” use of social media, where Twitter is a cudgel for score-settling no matter the diplomatic cost.
When Mr Trump assumed the presidency, one of the first foreign dignitaries he received was Mrs May, and it appeared they formed a quick bond – briefly holding hands as they walked past the White House Rose Garden. Those bonds will now be tested in a spat over a few morning retweets of inflammatory videos.
It’s a wholly unnecessary controversy, but the international consequences could be all too real.