Foreign Pool Report - British PM Theresa May in the Oval Office

From: Philip Crowther []
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2017 12:36 PM
Subject: Foreign Pool Report - British PM Theresa May in the Oval Office

Today in the Oval Office, the visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Pool was brought into the Oval Office at 12:16 for a photo-op.

POTUS and British PM Theresa May were standing either side of the Winston Churchill bust.

Dress code: the usual dark suit and red tie for President Trump. Orange / red-coloured dress for PM May.

British PM Theresa May is of course the very first foreign leader to visit President Trump in the Oval Office.

A few quotes from President Trump, to be checked against the transcript, if indeed there is one. In fact, due to camera shutters, anything said was very hard to make out.

"Why don't we move this?", in reference to one of the lamps on the side tables that was in the way of the perfect shot.

"This is the original in many ways", in reference to the bust of Winston Churchill. "It's a great honour to have Winston Churchill back."

PM May followed the President's short remarks by even shorter remarks.

"It's a great honour to be here" she said (we believe).

Also to be checked against a potential transcript. Again, exact quotes were very hard to make out.

No questions.

Also in the Oval Office today, these members of the British delegation:

- Sir Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to the United States

- Nick Timothy, Chief of Staff

- Fiona Hill, Chief of Staff

- Sir Mark Lyall Grant, National Security Adviser

They were all in the main meeting with POTUS, according to the British Embassy.

Earlier, Theresa May was greeted at the West Wing Portico by President Trump.

Theresa May started her day in Washington with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony. She will leave these shores again this evening for Ankara, Turkey.

More details from the British Embassy sent out prior to the Oval Office meeting:

The Prime Minister will then meet President Trump at the White House for substantive discussions in the Oval Office. She will also have the opportunity to see the Churchill bust in place in the Oval Office, a symbol of the strength of the transatlantic partnership. The PM will give the first lady a hamper full of produce from Chequers, and will give the President an engraved Quaich.

The Hamper contains a range of produce including Chequers apple juice, damson jam, and marmalade, as well as Bake well tarts and cranberry and white chocolate shorties.

The Quaich (pronounced ‘QUAKE’) is an ancient Scottish artefact, whose form has not changed for centuries. The term ‘Quaich’ emerged in the mid-16th century, from Scottish Gaelic word ‘cuach’, meaning cup. Originating in the Highlands, where clan chiefs prized them as a token of hospitality, they have been used across Scotland for centuries as a cup of friendship. Today it is rarely used as a drinking vessel, but rather it is a symbol of welcome and kinship. Its two handles signify trust, both on the part of the giver and the receiver. Tracing its origins to the distant past of Highland chivalry, the quaich is today a timeless reminder of the enduring Scottish values of friendship and hospitality.

Philip Crowther

France 24 White House / Washington correspondent


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