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BREAKING NEWS

Trump meets with Nigel Farage, Brexit Party leader, during London trip

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Image: Nigel Farage
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, center, arrives at Winfield House to meet with US President Donald Trump, in Regent's Park, London, on June 4, 2019. -
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David Mirzoeff PA via AP
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President Donald Trump met with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage on Tuesday, the second day of his state visit to the United Kingdom.

Farage, in a tweet, said that the two leaders had a "good meeting" at Winfield House — the U.S. ambassador's residence in London where the president is staying — and that Trump "really believes in Brexit."

The meeting occurred hours after Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May held a joint news conference in which the U.S. president praised May for her efforts to negotiate an orderly exit from the European Union and said, "I think it will happen and it probably should happen."

May, however, resigned from her post in May after failing to win support for her Brexit plan, capping months of chaos in Parliament. Farage, a divisive figure in British politics, has been a consistent critic of May and her Brexit strategy and a supporter of Trump.

Farage was the leader of right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, in the run-up to the Brexit vote in 2016. He left UKIP and helped found the Brexit Party.

May plans to step down on Friday as Conservative Party leader, but she will continue as prime minister until a successor is chosen. In April, after British lawmakers rejected May's deal three times, the U.K. was granted an extension until Oct. 31 to work out a withdrawal agreement and pass it through Parliament.

The prime minister's office reportedly tried to block Trump from meeting with high-profile Brexit supporters during his trip.

However, a spokesman for May's office told NBC News on Monday that "who the President meets during his visit is, of course, a matter for him."

Trump has previously offered his opinion on the protracted efforts to reach a Brexit deal. Trump told The Sunday Times in an interview earlier this week that the U.K. government should "walk away" from talks with the European Union if it can't get sufficient terms from EU leaders.

Most experts have warned that a "no-deal Brexit" would have serious consequences for the economy and lead to shortages, and possibly trigger tensions in Northern Ireland.

Trump also told the paper that Farage should have a role in the negotiations, calling him "a very smart person."

"They won't bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did," he said. "They just haven't figured that out yet."