UK PM Theresa May speaks to a half-empty room as Trump steals the show at Davos

President Trump arrived to a rock star’s welcome in Davos for the World Economic Forum, much to the chagrin of his critics.

And, for a short time, to UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Taking the stage at the Forum in the Swiss ski resort Thursday, May sought to find “new partners” in trade after Brexit, according to The Sun. Unfortunately for the prime minister, she began delivering her speech to a half empty room thanks to Trump.

The crowd reportedly “rushed out to see Donald Trump” just as May took the stage.

And this was not how some attendees wanted the  event to unfold, apparently annoyed at Trump’s upstaging talent.

Trump did not disappoint, telling reporters he had arrived in Switzerland bringing a message of “peace and prosperity” to the gathered world leaders and global elite. He is the first sitting U.S. president to make the trip since former President Bill Clinton went in 2000.

When a reporter asked if Trump thought he would be received well, he replied as only Donald Trump can:  “I already am. Look.”

Once the excitement was over, the crowd apparently returned to hear the rest of May’s speech.

The two leaders were able to meet at the Forum Thursday, their first appearance together since Trump cancelled a trip to London to open the new U.S. Embassy. The president dismissed reports that the two have had a strained relationship recently.

“We’re on the same wavelength in, I think, every respect,” Trump said. “The prime minister and myself have had a really great relationship, although some people don’t necessarily believe that, but I can tell you, it’s true.”

“I think the feeling is mutual from the standpoint that we like each other a lot,” he added, saying he wanted to correct a “false rumor” about them, as May nodded.

Trump may have been referring to reports such as a recent one from Bloomberg this week relating some of the diplomatic challenges the two leaders have had that have created some tensions. The piece alleged the president did not wish to visit the United Kingdom unless May handled expected protesters and guaranteed him a “warm welcome.”

May has also been critical of Trump’s travel ban and London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for the leader to withdraw her offer for Trump to make a state visit.

“We are very much joined at the hip when it comes to the military. We have the same ideas, the same ideals,” Trump told the UK prime minister Thursday, turning to her directly. “There’s nothing that would happen to you that we won’t be there to fight for you.”

May, in turn, noted the “really special relationship between the U.K. and the United States.”

“In fact… stronger because we both face the same challenges across the world, and as you say, we’re working together to meet those challenges,” she said.

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Frieda Powers

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