WASHINGTON – President Trump’s love-hate relationship with Britain has been on display in London this week. This ambivalence takes an especially bizarre turn in comments by the president and his supporters about British intelligence, historically America’s most important secret partner.
After bashing prominent British figures on his way to London, Trump was on good behavior Tuesday, after a glittering state dinner the night before with the queen. He paid ritual homage to the special alliance between Britain and America and the “love … great love” showed him during his visit.
“We have an incredible intelligence relationship,” Trump told reporters, evoking the historic partnership between Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, and the CIA, with departing Prime Minister Theresa May at his side.
At that, members of the British intelligence establishment must surely have rolled their eyes. Trump and his political allies have in fact been straining the covert alliance to the point that some insiders on both sides worry that trust and cooperation could eventually begin to erode.