Theresa May refuses to express 'full confidence' in Donald Trump but says UK will continue sharing intelligence

‘We continue to work with the United States and we continue to share intelligence with the United States’

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Indy Politics

Theresa May says Britain will continue to hand intelligence information to Donald Trump, but refused to say she had “full confidence” in him personally.

Quizzed about the latest scandal in America, the Prime Minister said only that she had “confidence in the relationship between us and the United States – that it helps to keep us all safer”.

And she said: “We continue to work with the United States and we continue to share intelligence with the United States, as we do with others around the world.

“We are all working together to deal with the threats that we face, the key threat of course being the threat of terrorism – predominantly from Daesh [Isis], but we must never forget that al-Qaeda is still out there.”

The Prime Minister had been asked whether she had “full confidence” in Mr Trump and whether she was still content for British intelligence to be shared with the United States. 

The questions came after the President insisted he has the “absolute right” to share highly classified information with the Kremlin.

It emerged Mr Trump may have disclosed Israeli intelligence in last week’s Oval Office meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.

The intelligence involved an Isis plot to use bombs hidden in laptop computers to bring down planes, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the incident.

The conversation came hours after he fired FBI director James Comey, who was probing his election team over links to the Kremlin.

But Mr Trump tweeted: “As President, I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled WH meeting), which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the reports that it was the source of the intelligence, but its embassy in the US insisted it has “full confidence” in the intelligence-sharing relationship between the two nations.

Ms May’s relationship with Mr Trump has been in the spotlight since she was captured holding his hand as they walked out of the White House together, back in January.

The Prime Minister was accused of rushing to Washington within days of the inauguration, desperate to secure a trade deal with America because of Brexit.

Ms May told a press conference in east London yesterday: “This is the most important defence and security relationship that we have around the world.

“I was very pleased that when I went to the United States, shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, he was able to commit to his 100 per cent commitment to Nato, which is an important bedrock of our security and the bedrock of the security of Europe.”

In the United States, it has now been reported that Mr Trump asked Mr Comey to drop an inquiry into links between his former national security adviser and Russia.

“I hope you can let this go,” Mr Trump reportedly told the then-FBI director after a White House meeting in February, according to a memo written by Mr Comey.

The memo was allegedly written immediately after the meeting, a day after Michael Flynn resigned. The White House has denied the allegation.