How the PM’s visit was seen by the American mediaby Andrew Stuttaford / February 1, 2017 / Leave a comment
The prospect of Theresa May’s arrival in the United States on Thursday failed to make much of an impression on the front pages of American newspapers. (That day’s Wall Street Journal did, however, find room for an article on “wily hotel thermostats.”) Undeterred, the prime minister started her visit by addressing a gathering of Congressional Republicans in Philadelphia. In its description of the event, the right-of-centre Washington Times, related how May had told her audience that Donald Trump’s victory and the GOP wins in Congress promised “a new era of American renewal.” What’s more, with conservative governments in both the US and UK, this was an opportunity to renew the special relationship.
The Washington Times made no mention of May’s defence of the United Nations, which she called “in need of reform, but vital still.” But the Associated Press reported that May had cautioned Trump “not to turn his back on global institutions.” It noted May’s praise for Trump’s determination to take on Islamic extremism, but also that she had cautioned her Republican audience that “We should always be careful to distinguish between this extreme and hateful ideology, and the peaceful religion of Islam and the hundreds of millions of its adherents,” wording it interpreted as criticism of Trump’s campaign season comments on Muslim immigration (as it turned out, Trump’s executive order on immigration was signed the next day.)