While the liberal media back home worked overtime to pull President Trump into a "nasty" war of words with the royals over Meghan Markle, the British press has given the U.S. commander-in-chief surprising rave reviews during his historic trip across the pond.
It all started last week when Trump was informed of past comments made by the “Suits” actress-turned-princess during an interview with The Sun. Before Markle traded Hollywood for royalty, she supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and called Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive,” even threating to move to Canada if he got elected.
Trump told The Sun he was "shocked" by Duchess Meghan's past remarks.
“I didn’t know that. What can I say? I didn’t know that she was nasty," Trump said upon hearing Markle’s past comments. When confronted with the fact that Duchess Meghan – who is on maternity leave -- wouldn't be seeing the president during his state visit, he replied, “I didn’t know that. I hope she is OK.”
Trump, who is typically quick to slam his critics, even predicted that Markle would make a “very good” princess.
When actress Bette Midler recently angered the president by sharing a fake quote attributed to him, Trump responded by calling her a “washed up psycho,” “sick scammer” and said she looked “really bad.” By comparison, Trump’s comment about Markle was friendly but the interview resulted in non-stop news coverage by the mainstream media, painting Trump as a bully who called the American-born duchess “nasty” as he was set to arrive in the U.K.
A CNN chyron simply stated, “Trump calls Meghan Markle ‘nasty’ ahead of UK trip,” while CNN’s website published an article headlined, “Trump shatters diplomatic etiquette on eve of UK visit.” MSNBC’s headline stated, “Ahead of state visit, Trump calls Markle ‘nasty.’” Several other American news organizations followed suit, and Trump critics took to twitter to put an emphasis on the “nasty” comment.
“When you look at the entire conversation, it is clear he was referring to her previously nasty comments about the president, not the Duchess personally,” Accuracy in Media national editor Carrie Sheffield told Fox News.“Context matters and it is shameful for outlets to take the President’s remarks out of context to generate clicks.”
Trump defended himself on Twitter, blaming “fake news media” for taking his comment out of context and doubled down during an interview with Piers Morgan for ITV's "Good Morning Britain," saying he wasn't calling Markle nasty, but rather was just surprised to hear her comments about him.
"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 told Morgan.
“Given the many other matters of significance that need to be covered as legitimate news for the Trump visit to the UK, any coverage at all of a feud between Trump and Markle is petty and unnecessary."
DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that the “supposed feud is not even worth sidebar coverage” in the big scheme of things.
“Given the many other matters of significance that need to be covered as legitimate news for the Trump visit to the UK, any coverage at all of a feud between Trump and Markle is petty and unnecessary,” McCall said. “There is plenty of real news to fill the Trump-UK agenda without news organizations looking for the superficial. “
Meanwhile, BBC, Financial Times, The Sun and Evening Standard have all published positive headlines about Trump’s visit while many America media outlets focus on protests and his Markle comment.
During a Wednesday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” The Hill media guru Joe Concha compared the differences to the way now-disgraced actor Jussie Smollett’s scandal was covered when American outlets such as CNN treated the former “Empire” star as a hero while Chicago media was skeptical from the jump.
“The Chicago media had one story and our national media had a completely different story. I kind of feel the same way about the British press. They’re on the ground, they know how London works, they know the people and they’re portraying this thing a lot more positively,” Concha said, noting that the American media is focusing on protests.
“All we’re seeing is this Trump baby blimp, which is getting more coverage than the O.J. Broncho,” Concha said.
Even on Wednesday after the trip was well received by many Brits, USA Today wasn’t finished trying to stir up negativity covering the Morgan interview with the headline, “Donald Trump reopens 'nasty' feud with Meghan Markle.”
“While the media likes to focus on the negatives, I think the President’s visit to Britain has been extremely successful,” Sheffield said. "President Trump kept his eye on the prize: international relations between two sovereign nations with a special and unbreakable bond."
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Jessica Sager contributed to this report.