Trump hand holding was ‘moment of assistance’ – May

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has described the time she and US president Donald Trump held hands as a “moment of assistance”.

The leaders were captured on camera as they walked at the White House on Mrs May’s visit in January 2017.

The picture made headlines around the world, with some suggesting it was a sign of their closeness.

Government sources in Washington DC suggested Mr Trump has a fear of stairs or slopes.

Speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special, Mrs May said: “We were walking along, he said there was a ramp around the corner and it might be difficult walking down it so to take his arm.

“And then when we got to the top of the ramp he took my hand, just for going down the ramp and then that was it … I think it was to assist.”

The prime minister added: “You suddenly see this bank of photographers and then of course it becomes something that the photographers and the journalists and the commentators and everybody pick up. But I think it was genuinely a moment of assistance.”

Image caption

Theresa May was speaking to Test Match Special

Asked whether she trusted Mr Trump not to “press the button or be reckless”, Mrs May said the president was surrounded by “very good advisers” who would help him make the right decisions.

“I believe that Donald Trump as American president will take the decisions that are right for security and safety around the world,” she added.

“He has very good advisers around him in some of the individuals he has in key roles of state, defence and so forth. And we will work with them.

“I had a call with him earlier this week, talking exactly about North Korea and what we can do together, particularly at the United Nations … and how we can work with other countries to achieve what we all want, which is for North Korea to stop what is illegal activity.”

‘Robotic’

In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Agnew at Lord’s cricket ground, Mrs May also hit back at critics of her general election campaign, saying “I don’t think I’m in the least robotic”.

Mrs May was ridiculed by critics during the election for repeating stock phrases, such as “strong and stable,” with one dubbing her the “Maybot”.

Instead of addressing large crowds and doing walkabouts, like her Labour opponent Jeremy Corbyn, her appearances were mostly limited to tightly-controlled party events.

She said she had been “frustrated” that as prime minister she had not been able to “knock on doors” and meet ordinary people.

“In any election campaign a plan is made about what that campaign is going to be like.

“I get frustrated… people used the word robotic about me during that campaign. I don’t think I’m in the least robotic.

“What I really enjoy is getting out there talking to people, hearing from them, understanding what the issues are for them.

“That’s what drove me when I first became prime minister.”

Asked if she had taken the election result, which saw her lose her Commons majority, personally, Mrs May said: “As the leader of the party of course you have to take it to a degree personally and you have to accept that responsibility.”

Mrs May, a longstanding cricket fan, was attending the test match between England and the West Indies, at Lord’s.

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