After first denying he made the comment, President Trump now says his remark describing Meghan Markle as “nasty” was taken out of context, telling Piers Morgan instead that he thinks the Duchess of Sussex is actually “very nice.”
Trump called Markle “nasty” in an interview with British tabloid The Sun ahead of his three-day state visit to the U.K., which began Monday. He subsequently tried to deny making the remark, but a recording of the conversation proved otherwise.
On Wednesday, Trump addressed the furor during an exclusive TV interview with former newspaper editor and CNN presenter Morgan on ITV’s breakfast show, “Good Morning Britain.” He said he made the comments after being told that Markle had previously said she would move to Canada if he was elected.
“I wasn’t referring to she’s nasty, I said she was nasty about me, and essentially I didn’t know she was nasty about me,” Trump said on the Good Morning Britain show. “But you know what, she’s doing a good job, I hope she enjoys her life.”
The president added: “I think she’s very nice. Honestly, I don’t know her. So I have to be honest, I don’t know her but it just shows you how terrible the news can be because if you read that – I’m sure you did, that was talking about nasty – she was nasty about me.”
Trump has not met Markle on his contentious state visit. He has spent time with Queen Elizabeth II and various royals, including Prince Harry, Markle’s husband, who attended a tea party for Trump hosted by Prince Charles. Markle, who recently gave birth to her and Harry’s first child, did not attend.
Trump is in the final stages of his trip. He has weighed into the leadership contest for Britain’s Conservative Party, which will determine who will succeed Theresa May as prime minister, and talked up the possibilities of a post-Brexit trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. He said he did not see any major protests against his visit, calling it “fake news,” despite the fact that tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged Central London on Tuesday. The protest included the famous “Trump Baby” balloon and a huge model of the president sitting on the toilet, tweeting on his phone.