May, who on Friday will become the first world leader to meet with the newly sworn-in president, touched down in Philadelphia on Thursday, where she addressed senior Republicans at the GOP’s annual policy retreat.
On the flight over to the U.S., May told reporters on the plane that she believed she and Trump would have a strong working relationship, despite their differences. “Haven’t you ever noticed, sometimes opposites attract?” she said, according to The Guardian.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the two leaders will hold a joint press conference at the White House on Friday, CNN reports.
May’s positive comments come amid concerns in the U.K. over whether she was “groveling” to Trump after his Wednesday remarks that he may reinstate torture, a practice that has been strongly condemned by the U.K.
May told reporters Thursday that she wouldn’t shy away from confronting Trump on the issue, saying,“We have a very clear view: we condemn the use of torture, and my view on that won’t change, whether I’m talking to you, or talking to President Trump.”
May said she also planned to discuss the importance of NATO with Trump, adding that he had privately expressed his support for the military alliance in their previous conversations. Publicly, Trump has been a vocal critic of NATO and as recently as an interview published Jan. 15 called the alliance “obsolete.”
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“From the conversations I’ve already had with President Trump over the phone, he has shown to me his commitment to Nato as well,” she said. “I believe a strong Nato has been the bulwark of our defense in Europe. Obviously that’s important in the UK national interest and I believe it’s important in the U.S. national interest.”
Trump and May’s relationship is already being compared to that of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who enjoyed a close working bond in the 1980s.