Trump interview: golf, Brexit and why you don’t hear about Britain any more

Full transcript of last weeks Wall Street Journal interview shows Trump seemed more keen to discuss golf than specifics of post-Brexit trade deal

For Britain it seems to be a occurrence of hes only not that into you. Except when it comes to golf.

Donald Trump seemed less than awestruck when talking about his late mothers homeland in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, find: You dont hear the word Britain any more.

Whereas American anglophiles are stereotypically enamoured of the Beatles, Downton Abbey and the royal family, the US presidents most urgent concern appears to be the implications of Scottish independence for the Open golf championship.

Trump spoke last week to Gerard Baker, the British-born editor of the Journal, which published excerpts of the interview, but the full transcript was merely subsequently obtained by the Politico website and released on Tuesday.

After a discursive debate about healthcare, jobs and their respective households, Baker noted that Trump had tweeted that morning about trade talks with Britain and would like to know whether could provide more details.

The president replied: No, but I can say that were going to be very involved with the UK. I entail, you dont hear the word Britain any more. Its very interesting. Its like , nope.

Brexit-besieged Downing Street will presumably be hoping that Trump meant that the word Britain has lost out to the UK in common usage, rather than that the country itself has fallen into obscurity.

The conversation moved on. Baker remarked that he is English. It was Trumps turn to ask a question about Scottish independence: Is Scotland going to go for the vote, by the way? You dont see it. It would be terrible. They merely went through hell.

Baker indicated that he did not think there would be another freedom referendum. The chairperson, whose mother was from the Hebridean island of Lewis, seemed to dreaded the dissolution of the 310 -year-old union, but not for the usual reasons.

One little thing, he said. What would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? Theyd no longer have the British Open.

The No campaign never thought of that one.

Trump added: Scotland. Maintain it in Scotland.

He and Baker then conversed about golf and the American star Jordan Spieth, whom Trump ranked alongside greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

The Wall Street Journal editor eventually interjected: Anyway, are you looking forward to doing a trade deal with the UK?

Trump responded: Yeah. I have a great relationship …

When Baker reminded him of the ticking clock of Brexit, the president told: We have a very good relationship. I have a very good relationship with the “ministers “. And we are absolutely looking to do a major trade deal.

Baker followed up: Would the idea be that the trade deal will kick in pretty much as soon as Brexit happens?

Trump said: As soon as its appropriate to have it kick in, utterly. And itll be a big trade bargain much, much more business than we do right now, many, many times.

He went on to criticise the European union as very, very protectionist but ducked a question about doing an agriculture deal with the UK by changing the subject to China. He did indicate he could do a services deal with the UK but again seemed anxious to avoid details.

Baker has denied devoting Trump an easy ride in the Wall Street Journals coverage of his presidency. A spokesperson for the paper told Politico: We published the noteworthy excerpts from the interview. We watched no reason to publish the crosstalk that inevitably accompanies any conversation.

Trump expends numerous weekends playing golf despite previously criticising Barack Obamas similar outings. A new article in Sports Illustrated offers an insight into why.

It reports: Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: That White House is a real dump. Trump is often at his most unguarded among the people who pay for their close proximity to him.

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