Donald Trump pays tribute to 'friend' Boris Johnson after the Foreign Secretary quits over Brexit… but he doesn't back Theresa May

The US President described BoJo as a "friend" just before he departed for Europe this afternoon.

"The UK certainly have a lot of things going on," Mr Trump told reporters outside the White House.

He was asked directly about Mr Johnson, who told Mrs May yesterday he could no longer support her Brexit plans and announced he was quitting.

President Trump said: "Boris Johnson is a friend of mine, he's been very, very nice to me, very supportive. And, maybe I'll speak to him when I get over there.

"I like Boris Johnson, I've always liked him."

But he refused to say that Mrs May should stay in post as Prime Minister.

"That's up to the people," he added.

"I get along with her very well, I have a very good relationship. That's certainly up to the people, not up to me."

Mrs May was forced into a rapid reshuffle of her Cabinet last night as Boris and David Davis departed the Government.

Mr Trump will attend a crucial Nato meeting tomorrow in Brussels with other leading powers, and took the chance again today to claim the US is being "taken advantage of by the European Union" who don't pay as much towards defence.

He said he was looking forward to "a long beautiful week" ahead, which will include talks with Theresa May at Chequers, a visit to Churchill's birthplace, and a visit to Scotland.

But when he was asked whether President Putin – who he will meet in Helsinki a few days after Mrs May – is a friend or a foe, President Trump said he couldn't say right now, and that he was "a competitor".

Last week Downing Street revealed the full details of the most controversial visit by a foreign leaders to the UK in recent memory.

The President and First Lady Melania will largely be kept away from protests – and a giant inflatable flying Trump baby – in London.

Mr Trump will arrive on Air Force One on Thursday afternoon straight from the NATO summit in Brussels.

The president and his wife will then be guests of honour for around 100 guests in the spectacular setting of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

It was built for the first Duke of Marlborough as a reward for his military victories, was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, a personal hero of the president.

The event will begin with a military ceremony in the Great Court of the Palace, where the bands of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards will play the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace, and the National Emblem.

During dinner, the Countess of Wessex's Orchestra will perform a series of classic British and American music hits.

And on his departure, Mr Trump will be "piped out" by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

After spending the night at the US Ambassador’s London resident in Winfield House, in Regents Park, the President will visit an unnamed defence site with Mrs May on Friday.

The pair will then move onto Chequers for a working lunch and crunch talks on a range of international issues – followed by a press conference.

Mr Trump will rejoin Melania and head to Windsor Castle for a meeting with the Queen before heading to Scotland – where “he will spend the weekend”.

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