US President Donald Trump has said British former foreign minister Boris Johnson would make an “ excellent ” prime minister to replace Theresa May .
Trump was speaking ahead of the start of a state visit to Britain on Monday , during which he will meet May .
She is set to resign on June 7 over her failure to deliver a deal to bring Britain out of the European Union .
Asked by the British tabloid newspaper The Sun for his opinion on the 12 candidates to replace her , Trump said , “ I think Boris would do a very good job . I think he would be excellent .
“ I have always liked him . I don’ t know that he is going to be chosen , but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person . ”
He added that several candidates in the Conservative leadership race had asked for his support , without revealing who .
A key Leave campaigner in the Brexit referendum , Johnson has said he is prepared to take Britain out of the European Union , “deal or no deal ” .
In the interview, Trump also repeated his criticism of how May has handled Brexit negotiations , saying Britain had allowed the EU to “ have all the cards” .
“ It is very hard to play well when one side has all the advantage, ” he said . “I had mentioned to Theresa that you have got to build up your ammunition . ”
May concluded a divorce agreement with the EU in November but her deal was rejected three times by the British parliament , forcing her to seek a delay in leaving the bloc, now scheduled for October 31.
Commenting on Britain’ s domestic politics and opining on ruling – party leadership choices at a sensitive time would normally be an unusual move for a US president — but not for Trump , a former reality- TV star who often speaks his mind .
It could however add to tensions during Trump ’ s three-day visit to Britain.
Trump is to be received in Buckingham Palace on Monday by Queen Elizabeth II.
He will then have a discussion with Prince Charles , the heir to the British throne who is known for speaking out against global warming — an issue Trump is dismissive of .
The president has decided to pull the US out of the Paris climate change agreement that seeks to curb carbon emissions .
A meeting with Meghan , the former US actress who married Charles ’ s second son Prince Harry , is not on the agenda for Trump , whom she criticised during his 2016 campaign to be America ’ s leader.
“ What can I say ? I didn’ t know that she was nasty, ” Trump said of Meghan , though he also said he was “sure she will do excellently” as a princess.
As for protests that are expected to dog Trump ’ s state visit , the president insisted “ I think I am really — I hope — I am really loved in the UK ”.