U.K. and U.S. Make Up After May Points Finger at FBI for LeaksBy and
May says U.K. police have now received assurances from FBI
Two leaders met twice, first for NATO and then for G-7
The “special relationship” appeared to be back on after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May suggested the FBI was to blame for the intelligence leaks by U.S. officials on the Manchester bombing. Donald Trump, she said, told her the breach was “unacceptable.”
The two leaders have had an opportunity to make up as they attended the NATO meeting in Brussels, where she first raised her annoyance, and then later in Sicily, where they attended the Group of Seven summit. In Brussels, she approached him quietly during a family photo while in Italy the two had a chance to meet privately.
“The relationship between the U.K. and the U.S. has been a special relationship for many years and does continue to be one. They are our most significant defense and security partner,” she said when asked about the status of relations and whether Trump had apologized to her. “Yes, I did raise the issue of leaks of information that had been shared by the police with the FBI with President Trump.”
“He has made clear that that was unacceptable,” she added. “The Metropolitan police, as I understand, have received assurances by the FBI and have now restarted the process of sharing information with them.”
Trump has made no mention of the leaks in his public remarks. Those were addressed in an emailed statement on Thursday. “The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security. There is no relationship we cherish more than the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
However, May’s decision on Friday to pointedly mention the FBI’s role in the leaks is a political gift for Trump. He has raged against leaks that have damaged him domestically and is involved in his own war with the FBI over the bureau’s probe into his campaign’s dealings with Russia. Trump has tweeted repeatedly that there is no substance to the Russia probe but that the real investigation should be into who is leaking sensitive details to the media.
After May made known her displeasure about the Manchester leaks, Trump ordered the Justice Department to find out who did it.
The term “special relationship” was used in 1946 by Winston Churchill to describe Anglo-American ties and was evoked by Prime Minister Theresa May as she flew to meet Donald Trump in January.