After Donald Trump's interview was published, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president "likes and respects Prime Minister May very much", adding that he had "never said anything bad about her".
But Trump has been far from gracious towards the Prime Minister since landing at Stansted on Thursday afternoon, claiming her hard-fought Brexit plan will "kill off" any hopes of doing business with the U.S. in an incendiary interview.
Some lawmakers in her deeply divided Conservative Party have cast May's "business-friendly" Brexit plan as a betrayal that would leave Britain too close to the European Union and warned that she might face a leadership challenge.
'I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me.
It comes just days after Mr Trump declined to say whether Mrs May should remain in post, said he had "always liked" Boris Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary over the Chequers agreement, and described the United Kingdom as being in "turmoil". "If they do that, then their trade deal with the U.S. will probably not be made".
It seems likely that Trump's complaint will focus on two words that appear inside quotation marks in the tabloid's headline - the idea that May "wrecked it", referring to Brexit.
"No, no, no, no".
A much-ballyhooed balloon of Trump as a snarling baby in diapers flew over the houses of Parliament for a couple of hours, with hundreds of people cheering as it floated upward and organizers hoping to bring it to other stops on Trump's tour of Britain, especially Turnberry in Scotland, where he will play golf at his resort Saturday.
The Washington Post, which has often found itself being publicly attacked by the combative political leader, said it had "cast an immediate pall" over a visit in which he had been shown the red carpet treatment.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned this week, leaves the Foreign Office on his way to Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting, in London, on Tuesday.
Later in the press conference at the prime minister's country residence, Chequers, Mr Trump verbally sparred with the Sun reporter who had interviewed him, Tom Newton Dunn.
"I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly", he said. "I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister".
Trump, as he has before, criticized London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, as having "done a very bad job on terrorism". "Now he might not like the current President, but I represent the United States".
"I said Brexit will happen and it did happen", he added.
Al Jazeera's Lee described Trump's interview as "absolutely incendiary".
Trump also said former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who quit this week over May's Brexit plan, would make a "great prime minister".
Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Buckinghamshire, said that Trump's helicopter landed around 10:00 GMT ahead of the meeting. "I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it's never going to be what it was and I don't mean that in a positive way". Trump said: "The relationship between our two nations is indispensable to the cause of liberty, justice, and peace".
"Look around", he said. "He thought she was great on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation today and is a really terrific person".
Trump has long spoken of his desire to meet the monarch, but for this queen, such encounters with US presidents are old hat, having met 10 American leaders since her coronation in 1952.
When Barack Obama came to London to give his support to David Cameron in the European Union referendum, he sat down with the Prime Minister to discuss what he could say that would be most helpful to his cause. She's just an incredible woman.