Analysis of President Trump and British Prime Minister May's Joint News Conference

ABC News' Amna Nawaz, Rick Klein and Terry Moran discuss President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May's joint news conference.
17:10 | 01/27/17

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Transcript for Analysis of President Trump and British Prime Minister May's Joint News Conference
Hey everybody I'm on an about live in New York you're watching our live coverage now Donald Trump as president has just held his first meeting with a foreign leader. At the White House here in New York we are joined by ABC news's political director Rick client to break it all down and walk us through it how you interact. That was something I first of all it. You see the difference between President Obama and president up just in the way that he addresses the media. President Obama would go on for long lectures about the history of religion if this was short sweet yet. And it very informal talk calling it the prime minister Theresa twice. In the course of this up pretty extraordinary first meeting and you get a sense that these two people that have almost nothing in common personally but it. Older political rise to similar movements and their countries and you could see some policy areas where they can work together particularly on trade in trying to work together. And yeah I think it was it was striking to me here. In in prime minister maze speech. She went out of our way to access to praise him for his stunning victory yes that is the way to get through president fault and it's almost as if she's taken notes on this and and I think the they embassy people prepare her saying well this is that the things of the president. Likes to hear and you can see is eyes kind of perk up when now we when she makes a comment like that. So much of this as you mentioned is personal relationships right there's a lot made before the meeting about whether or not she would get the first today's and it's all about who makes it first but that first visit. There are areas that they need to work together we know after cracks it prime minister mate needs to be able to work through some kind of trade deal with the US. That there are areas that house this degree right and in Russia there was a stark difference in the way they answer the question about how they will handle sanctions moving forward. Ya they they talked about a stronger special relationship but there are going to be saarc policy differences you mentioned Russia. And I think it's as clear as can be president trump is say he's gonna have a conversation. Without the Russian press president butter wouldn't tomorrow. And that is going to he says we'll see how it goes but he is made clear that he is open to lifting sanctions and it's really one of the few major countries that he's not been critical of the route process. Prime minister mate a much different answer saying that that the position is clear of the British people that. Yes withdraw from Crimea if you want the sanctions to come off that is their position and it clearly can be a difference. Then there's the big one which is that the question of torture waterboarding. This is news that our colleague David Muir meet the other day talked the president trump about this in and he said that his personal position remains the torture works that waterboarding works. Book but you a bit of a step back and saying that he would allow his Defense Secretary. Jim Mattis to dictate terms of this Madison said that he doesn't think torture work but it's a strange is split because you have the the commander in chief saying I do think it works the of the Defense Secretary saying I don't think it works we have the CIA director is also bit skeptical about this meanwhile prime minister made the press on this and she is said. This is the position of of Great Britain that there will not be so called enhanced interrogation techniques like water boarding like torture they believe that it violates international law. Another line in the sand and I think our colleague Terry Moran a few minutes ago. Talk about the difference in values as being important here and that seems to be aligned its the prime minister is drawing down and in trying to establish a new relationship. Speaking of are calling Cameron and I think carries joining us live now from London carry interest in Iran and hey guys hate that you are watching that press conference give us your take on how you think this first meeting went down between these. These two leaders who couldn't say the phrase special relationship enough. Well it it is a special relationship let's face it mean that they history I'll them forget. Right after nine elevenths. When Tony Blair came to sit in in the gallery in congress when George W. Bush gave his speech to congress after 9/11. All the British press came as well and we were walking up for a little brief appearance beat with bush and Blair. In the White House and I'll never forget as we are walking up the stairs the White House and older reporter British reporter never seen him before or since grab my hand and he said. You're there for us and we will be there for you. It is special its real and so they they can build on that it's also moment that they are trying to seize because they both see. That there are riding the same tiger a public opinion nationalist opinion that's what elected Donald companies trying to deliver on his campaign promises to those people. Who put him in the White House and that's what made wrecks it happened Britain Europe leaving the European Union. And Teresa may want as she said she wants to work for those people who voted to get out of the European. They need each of the chained to trade deal. And Donald Trump needs to show that he can lead the world in this new way. The new way right it's the people in Europe are saying that the old way of American leadership. Which was multilateral. For institutions like the United Nations which we developed and built in New York NATO. All these idea International Monetary Fund and that those days are over that essentially the United States is not gonna play that role anymore. And that Donald Trump is gonna do something different and that's what we saw there. But Terry you mentioned that Blair bush relationship. After. More information came out about that lead up to the war in Iraq. That didn't work out so well for Tony Blair and his legacy so there's a danger there in the prime minister tying herself too closely. To president who no one really knows which direction he's gonna going just yet isn't there. Absolutely and I've and that that. Is a huge danger for British prime minister Tony Blair is considered the Poodle. Of the united states of George W. Bush because Iraq ended so badly for this country and and and for the United States and so many ways. And he is in many ways despised. By the British public enough popular politician of his generation. He revolutionized politics in this country it is law loathed. By majorities of the merit of the British people. For that she's gotta be careful she doesn't get too close just in case Donald Trump takes the role of special relationship. In a direction that the British people don't like and that could rest. On that notion of values that you get her talking about it struck me as Donald Trump was talking about torture president trump. That he thinks it doesn't work I that it does work general Mattis the secretary of defense thinks it it doesn't work. Yet here they don't it's not about whether it works or not you know ethnic cleansing. Works. I mean genocide but works. It's wrong that's what people in the democracies in Europe think about torture. It's wrong it doesn't matter if it works or not although the research shows that it doesn't. But what matters is that she cannot as the leader of the people of Britain. Align herself would Trump's position on torture. Or on banning whole classes of people from immigration. Or on all kinds of things that frankly the people of Britain do not share those values as at the end of the day. That's the foundation of the special relationship. Terry Terry here you hear that shades of each other's rhetoric and some of the things that they say and there are similarities and you hear. When you your prime minister makes a lot ordinary working people and talk about that stunning victory at Donald W you could see them trying to feel out a relationship that can be personal. And I was struck and I'm wondering your take on how informal president trump seemed to be with the prime minister calling Theresa twice there was also video you may read out of scene of the two of them police briefly holding hands with a walk the White House holiday that what what is what is behind that how do you feel like it is going to be perceived. In Great Britain. Well that there are looking at the British prime is that Theresa may trying to really find herself. At as. The greatest ally of president trump at this moment because she does need eight trade deal they are coming out of the European Union a 600. Yeah. 600 million. Person by trading block and there are on their own in a couple of years. And there she is seeking already to lay the ground work for a trade deal with the United States but beyond that that personal chemistry there. Yet that is something. First it all British prime ministers and American president have to do rather awkwardly going back to when I was covering it bush and Blair's first meeting bush famously was asked. What are you guys have in common. And he said. To them fortification and horror of Tony Blair who that we use the same toothpaste have. What was it just not the done thing here this the but ended up having a very close bond in some ways spiritually because they were both. Inclined in that way so American present prime minister look for that I do think there's a lot of difference between them but what is. Common between them is what she what her finger on that want to stand up for the forgotten man and woman in Britain and America. Terry to formulate gonna wanna ask about Russia because that's another policy disagreement that I think is pretty stark and you you saw the prime minister lay that out pretty clearly their position. On sanctions as firm we don't really know what president trust's position is frankly but we know that he has been very hesitant to it to criticize Vladimir Putin they're gonna have that conversation tomorrow how important. Is that line in great Britain and beyond and is the prime minister. View her own role here is upholding kind of a broader set of western nations in in holy lot against Putin's Russia. I think that's a great point Rick were really. That people of Europe. Know that not just in the last century but in centuries previously. Russia has expanded. Has invaded countries in Europe has to has obviously taken over countries in Europe and dominated them. And they have that is a fresh historical memory and the deep historical memory. And and NATO. And the American allies the transatlantic alliance has been for seventy years the bulwark against that Russian expansionism. Her assignment as you say in some ways is to pull Donald Trump back. From the break up saying it had there was obsolete nobody's paying their way you know why do we have to. Why does the United States have to do so much defending a Europe why can't they do it themselves. Europe needs the United States in order to balance. Its freedoms against against a resurgent Russia under President Putin. She's very keen on that people are. Very worried here about. The about president trumps commitment to NATO what you call that commitment into question. It kind of evaporates. Kate Cary Grant live for us and London there thank you so much for joining us you bet. Back here in New York you know it strikes me is a lot of the language you re hearing from prime minister may. With the kind of stuff that you were hearing carrying the lead up to the backs it boat that came from the far right party. In England as the you can't write the UK independence party she's adopted a law a lot of that now. And I think the F Terry mentioned it there's a lot in. The language of how they will move forward together or whether they continue to find some common ground there with the comes to. You know trade policies moving forward or or not but at the other thing you mentioned about their relationship and how to get together she's been at this so many times frightened as you're basically. Different ends of the spectrum and some out Paul Abdul lyrics are now relevant she keeps opposites attract how could crack. It's effective in year at diplomacy. Between that leaders is gone now it's not the world we used to live and where you have to pretend the outlook coming from the same page this is all fine ever like we're friends. But we're gonna find a way to make this work. And this is a meeting between two leaders who do come from the same ideological strains in the same kind of momentum that that led to breaks that led to. The tropic three which which give her presidential preference is going to be even. More awkward when you're talking about Ottawa Merkel for instance in Germany and comes from it it was a different generation of leadership. Look presidential we're going to be watching very closely I thought this was an off quieter tone from him it wasn't a lot of the kind of bellicose rhetoric I think he made clear his position on some things. Frankly I think for a lot of people might be refreshing to here. Debt did the prime minister and the president have actual disagreements about things because well obviously hearing and I think the good a lot of public sees the variable countries is. Specialists especially if it's all great in it don't worry about it rented any viable sort and it doesn't I was turning inside out a lot of these things and I think. The the the freight nature with which he's willing to discuss disagreements with with with close allies and neighbors even lead to cancellation of the visit of the Mexican president. I ism is a major shift in how foreign policy is typically been done. And and his big gamble and that the gamble Donald Trump is that it can withstand that maybe even that he needs that and I think. You saw prime minister or date in the playoff that just a little bit because again. They didn't have to go out of their way to talk about how called by god everyone loves each other and in everyone agrees. There are some disagreements and end Donald Trump made out of that in the first visit with a foreign leader said. This is that this is an import relationship that's going to be a stronger relationship. And will work these links road. So does that tell me here do you think that set the tone for how ward leaders. Kind of try to engage it and move imports we have a little bit of breaking news to about how. Mexican president. Has announced that they have they have decided to stop talking out this publicly and out stop tweeting about it before we've had a chance to talk. It changes the dynamic changes the way that the US does business at all right well. The fact that a tweet. By the president let's of the canceled visit of of the bit of the president of Mexico is eight is an astounding thing they. In any other presidency this would be a watershed moment in foreign policy. In developed a presidency it feels like Wednesday. And it and I think that is a new normal that that world leaders including the prime minister Great Britain who the president of Mexico and president of Russia frankly. They're all have to adjust to that that this is a guy that does things in ways that are totally unpredictable a totally different and I think. Or from Enrique Pena hits us the perspective I think the assumption in Mexico was the it was just campaign talk. And it would be different when he's president and they were taken aback by the fact he's talking about this as president still saying a saying in order to to start building the wall. And what you see is what you get and we haven't seen is now we're not seventies through the Obama hosted his trump presidency almost exactly almost of the hour and we've seen him. Act like he did as a candidate who. Well that brings me to my last question to you it is now we are one week right almost any hour as Wednesday. What's different everything I hate it easy easy easy that it's easy hit over use that phrase they of the world's different everything's different but I'm telling you. Official Washington it's been blown away by the Donald Trump arrow already it did not know what to expect there are zillions story lines. Flying off of this of this president elect so many sparks office spinning wheel of fire and it. People don't know have adjusted net and that goes for Republican ever to congress Democrats in congress. The lobbyists. Anyone at the foreign governments and the seas everybody's trying to figure out what exactly the cyclone that Donald Trump is if there objected to the chaos. That he seems to Foster to foment is there is there a strategy. In his communication style we don't know that we know that worked in the campaign we don't know what it needs for governing. Addicts say also there's that kind of casual list of the presidency that we haven't seen before calling the prime minister of Great Britain Teresa and having. Reporters through the Oval Office and pointing out some of the some of the things he had reporters on on Air Force One shown office plane yesterday after the first trip. In those are just things that can never caught having members of congress over for her for light appetizers it is amazing things this. Again it did there's been a Washington formality to these things that are very close down I can guarantee you. Under president Hillary Clinton we would be talking about the same sort of this is sixty tours of images of sorts of visuals. We would have had that President Clinton come out salmon that might report pick next Thursday Seale later I mean that. There is just. A stunning. Removal of that in the year that Donald Trump that there were the ultimate reality star making this his own new set his own to stage an inviting people it. I legal to a lot of trust supporters and maybe even not from supporters that piece of Italy's is refreshing. So does the system change around and artists and change as well I did to the benefit of the presidency is that there's only one. And in you if you're the president you get to drive a message tried an agenda there are 535. Members of congress. There are thousands of lobbyists and special interests and so the sensor up power is the presidency. And a very Smart colleague of mine sit with with the with the president you get the thrall Pavel in the pond. And everyone gets the cheeks the ripples afterward and so for awhile at least the Mobil's C a develops the house legislative agenda go. Our deserve a scandal for a while at least. He can drop a whole lot of couples and watch people chase the rebels and that will be the new normal if he keeps the pace up if he has the kind of energy is sound and of the desire to do it that will be what people have to just around. Actor Rick Klein bits entry in the ripples for a separate perfect year. Hey guys thanks so much for joining us this is the national coverage Donald Trump asked president's first leader experts meeting rather with a foreign leader at the White House stick around for more on the latest. Breaking live streams right here for all of us here at ABC news for now. I'm on it possible season.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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