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May’s Trump experience a ‘warning for her successor’

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By Dominic Waghorn, diplomatic editor

"Why don't you go back to where you came from?" Racist insults do not come more hackneyed or crass.

But those were the words of the president of the United States, tweeting about four congresswomen from ethnic minorities.

He tweeted: "Why don't they go back?", before adding: "You can't leave fast enough".

Disgraceful by any measure and embarrassing for friends and allies.

Members of the president's own party have not ventured to criticise the overly racist language.

Downing Street has: The prime minister's spokesman called it "completely unacceptable".

Theresa May can't say she was not warned.

When Donald Trump retweeted Islamophobic fake videos put out by far-right group Britain First she was urged to cancel the invitation to the president for a state visit.

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She declined.

We now have confirmation that the man feted with the highest honours and tea with the Queen last month, if not a racist, certainly spouts the language of one.

Add this to the unceremonial defenestration of Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, last week and it is valid to question how wise our approach to Donald Trump has been.

Image: Mrs May rushed across the Atlantic to meet Mr Trump shortly after he was inaugurated

The advice the prime minister chose to follow upon his election was to cosy up; court the president assiduously and it will pay dividends.

Theresa May hastened across the Atlantic to be the first world leader to pay tribute and took with her that invitation from the Queen.

But you dance with the Donald at your peril.

Yes, he is an anglophile. Yes, he loves the Queen and Winston Churchill.

But he plays by none of the rules, and over his time in office we have seen what he has done – even to the closest of allies.

Officials at the highest level have served loyally only to fall out of favour, been chewn up and spat out.

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