Donald Trump has revealed he turned down a request from Jeremy Corbyn to meet, as the Labour leader joined a protest against his state visit and declined to attend a dinner hosted by the Queen.

The US president said he did not know Corbyn but that he seemed like “somewhat of a negative force”.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Theresa May on Tuesday, Trump said of Corbyn: “He wanted to meet today or tomorrow, and I decided that I would not do that.”

He added: “I really don’t like critics as much as I like and respect someone who can get things done.”

Labour revealed on Tuesday that Corbyn would join a demonstration against the US president, saying it was an opportunity to “stand in solidarity with those [Trump has] attacked in America, around the world and in our own country”.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Jeremy Corbyn proposed a meeting with Donald Trump during the president’s visit. Jeremy is ready to engage with the president on a range of issues, including the climate emergency, threats to peace and the refugee crisis.”

Trump also took the opportunity to continue his public feud with the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, saying he had done a bad job and “hurts the great people of this country”.

The president dismissed the protest outside Downing Street as very small and “fake news”, while claiming thousands had lined the streets to cheer him on Monday.

Trump was pressed several times about relations with the UK after Brexit and claimed there would be a “phenomenal” trade deal between the two countries involving two or three times the current level of trade.

But he insisted healthcare would be on the table in remarks that suggest the US would insist its companies are allowed to bid for private NHS contracts.

The prime minister had to whisper to Trump to apparently explain what the NHS was, but when the question was clarified, he said: “I think everything with the trade deal is on the table. When you’re dealing on trade, everything is on the table. So NHS or anything else. A lot more than that. Everything will be on the table.”

May quickly suggested that might not be acceptable to the UK but did not rule it out. “The point about making trade deals 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.

His comments indicate the US would also want access to UK markets for its food producers despite concerns about its lower environmental and animal welfare standards, which could lead to products such as chlorine-washed chicken being sold in the UK.

Trump also made some cryptic remarks suggesting May could be about to water down her plan to let Huawei, the Chinese state company, have limited involvement in the UK’s new 5G communications network.

The US, which has banned Huawei from its own contracts, had signalled this could harm intelligence sharing between the two countries.

But Trump said there should be “no problem” with intelligence sharing between the US and the UK based on his conversations with May.

“We are going to have an agreement on Huawei and everything else. We have an incredible intelligence relationship and we will be able to work out any differences. We did discuss it. I see absolutely no limitations. We’ve never had limitations. This is a truly great ally and partner and we’ll have no problem with that.”

A No 10 spokesman would say only that there was a review of the Huawei plans under way.

 

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