The infamous Trump Baby blimp flew over central London during anti-Trump protests as the US President held a meeting with the outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and later a joint press conference on the second day of his state visit.
Making nice at the end, President Donald Trump eased up on Tuesday on his frequent criticisms of outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May over her handling of the tortured Brexit deal, declaring that history will remember her fondly if the United Kingdom can successfully leave the European Union.
The latest chapter in the allies' storied "special relationship" played out as anti-Trump protesters — and the infamous Trump baby balloon — thronged the streets of nearby central London.
The president's unexpected compliments for May come just days before she was set to resign the leadership of her party after failing to secure a Brexit deal.
She will depart as prime minister once her successor has been chosen.
"I have greatly enjoyed working with you. You are a tremendous professional and a person who loves her country very much," Trump told May at a news conference near the prime minister's Downing Street office.
"I still believe —I personally believe— that it is in the best interest of the UK to leave the European Union with a deal. I believe there is a good deal on the table," May said.
"Obviously, it will be whoever succeeds me as prime minister to take this issue forward.
'Very, very substantial trade'
Earlier, Trump told May that the United States would do a "very very substantial trade" deal with the United Kingdom after Brexit.
"We are going to get it done," he said as he and May hosted a meeting of business leaders on the second day of the president's state visit.
Trump thanked May for doing a fantastic job.
He said he didn't know May's timings but that she should stick around.
"Let’s do this deal," Trump said.
"We are your largest partner... I think there's a great opportunity to greatly enlarge that, especially now," he said.
Everything will be on the table?
Trump backtracked on comments that Britain's public health service should be on the table in future post-Brexit trade talks between the two countries after May said some areas might be off-limits.
The National Health Service (NHS) is a cherished institution for many Britons. Created after World War Two, it provides a wide range of services ranging from routine consultations to life-saving operations.
"I think everything with a trade deal is on the table," Trump told reporters. "So NHS or anything else, or a lot more than that. But everything will be on the table, absolutely."
Later, however, he said that while nothing would be off the table in talks, he did not see the NHS as falling under the realm of trade.
"I don't see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is," Trump said in an interview broadcast on ITV News.
"That's something that I would not consider part of trade. That's not trade."
May had earlier suggested that the health service might be off-limits.
"The point about making trade deals, of course, is that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal for the future," she said at the news conference.
'Not for sale'
Britain's health minister, Matt Hancock, also made clear that he would not countenance the NHS being part of trade talks.
"Dear Mr President. The NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks - and never will be. Not on my watch," Hancock, who is a contender to replace May as prime minister, said on Twitter.
The opposition Labour Party has focused on fears among voters that the NHS might be privatised as it tries to capitalise on the Brexit crisis within May's Conservative Party.
"They all need to understand: our NHS is not for sale," Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter.
The trolling in London is vicious as Trump arrives pic.twitter.com/qJlFvYYDR4— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) June 3, 2019
Baby Trump back in play
Trump turned from pomp and ceremony to politics and business on Tuesday. The second day of a state visit to Britain was accompanied by mass protests.
An orange blimp of a baby Trump dressed in a diaper flew over central London as the US leader held a meeting and then a press conference with May.
Trump's three-day visit is technically centred around Wednesday's D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations on the south shore of England.
But it comes at an especially chaotic time for Britain.
June in chaos over May
May will step down as Conservative Party leader on Friday over her inability to deliver Brexit despite focusing on little else in three years on the job.
She will stay on as prime minister until her successor is found among 13 contenders who must make some difficult choices before the twice-delayed Brexit deadline on October 31.
Trump has already weighed in by urging Britain to walk away from the EU without an agreement –– and suggested that Brexit-backing former foreign minister Boris Johnson would be an "excellent" choice to head the government and get it done.
Anti-Trump protesters dress up as US president
Thousands gathered in London on Tuesday to protest against US President Donald Trump while he is on a state visit to the UK.
Among the demonstrators were people dressed as, or carrying, derogatory depictions of Trump.
Impersonator Phil Ball said the US President was "not an ethical person" who would look to take advantage of the UK in any future trade deal between the two nations post-Brexit.
Tim Baker was selling toilet rolls with images of Trump printed o n and said people were either "very offended" on "in hysterics" because of his product.
Another protester, who was dressed as a gorilla and wearing a Trump mask, said the US leader was among a group of "populist leaders" who wanted to "overturn international institutions".
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn promised to speak at the protest rally after skipping a banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Monday in protest at Trump's policies.
He said the protest was "an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he's attacked in America, around the world and in our own country".
Earlier, Trump locked horns with London Mayor Sadiq Khan who made clear his displeasure at the US president being afforded a state visit.
Before his touchdown at Standstead airport, Trump tweeted the mayor was a "stone cold loser".
Khan has released a series of videos regarding Trump, including this on the rights of women in the US under the current administration:
Mayor of London, @SadiqKhan has a message for @realDonaldTrump on his arrival to London about how women ought to be treated globally. 'Dear Trump...' https://t.co/hJ5uhS9wU6 pic.twitter.com/MwlwJu5Lpf— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) June 3, 2019
Trump's day will be rounded off with dinner at the US ambassador's residence.
The heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will attend on behalf of the queen.
"The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic," Trump tweeted on Monday.
"The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong."
May and Trump will conclude the trip by joining other world leaders on Wednesday in the English port of Portsmouth to commemorate 75 years since the D-Day landings changed the course of World War II.
"We owe an immeasurable debt to the British, American and Allied soldiers who began the liberation of Europe on 6th June 1944," the queen told Monday's banquet.