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Theresa May to visit White House, 'won't be afraid' to challenge Trump

By Ben Hooper
Theresa May to visit White House, 'won't be afraid' to challenge Trump
British Prime Minister Theresa May delivers her keynote Brexit speech on January 17, 2017, at Lancaster House in London, Britain. May confirmed Sunday she plans to visit U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House Friday. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/European Pressphoto Agency/pool

Jan. 22 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to visit President Donald Trump in the White House Friday and said she "won't be afraid" to challenge the U.S. leader.

May said she will visit the White House Friday, making her among the first foreign leaders to meet the Republican president since he took office one week earlier, to discuss multiple issues including trade and security.

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"I will be talking to Donald Trump about the issues we share and how we can build on the special relationship," May told the BBC. "It is the special relationship that allows us to say when something is unacceptable."

"Whenever there is something I find unacceptable, I won't be afraid to say that to Donald Trump," she said.

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May said she was not bothered by Trump's rhetoric during his inauguration speech, in which he pledged to put U.S. interests first.

"He and people around him have also spoken of the importance of a trade arrangement with the United Kingdom and that is something they are looking to talk to us about at an early stage," she said. "There are issue that we will work on together in the future -- the importance of NATO and defeating terrorism."

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"These are issues where we share the challenges and see the threats, where we have worked together in the past and will do so in the future," she said.

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Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was concerned about the lack of mention of Britain's "special relationship" with the United States in Trump's speech.

"There were no signs of any special relationship in Donald Trump's inauguration speech. It was quite the opposite. It was America first, America only, America inward-looking," he told a Sky News interviewer Sunday.

He said he hopes May will challenge Trump on some of his more misogynistic remarks during his campaign for the presidency.

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"I would hope when she meets Donald Trump she will in no uncertain terms tell him his misogyny during the election campaign, the way in which he described Muslim people and others of different faiths, the way in which he proposes to build a wall between his country and Mexico, is simply not acceptable," Corbyn said.

"The idea that Donald Trump will suddenly roll over and offer a trade deal with Britain, which doesn't have strings attached like investor protection, where American companies can come in and run parts of our NHS and be protected in doing so ... I think she needs to be extremely careful," he said.

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May was asked Sunday whether she would raise the issue of misogynistic remarks during her meeting with Trump.

The prime minister responded: "I have already said that some of the comments Donald Trump has made in relation to women were unacceptable. Some of those he himself has apologized for."

May said she would be happy to welcome Trump on a state visit to Britain, an invitation for such a visit would be up to Buckingham Palace.

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