In Davos, President Trump took a big step to improving U.S.-U.K. relations.
Speaking with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, the president declared "we have great respect for everything you're doing and we love your country." Describing a relationship that is "joined at the hip" on security issues, he pledged that "there is nothing that would happen to [Britain] that we won't be there to fight for you, you know that."
This is a remarkable statement. After all, stating that any attack on U.K. interests would be met with U.S. military reprisals, Trump would seem to be pledging direct U.S. military support for situations including any prospective second Argentine invasion of Britain's Falkland Islands territory in the South Atlantic.
Indeed, Trump's pledge goes further than any president in recent memory, including former President Ronald Reagan. Reagan provided intelligence support for the 1982 British military effort to liberate the Falklands, but no direct military commitment.
Yet Trump wasn't done.
Speaking to another top British policy priority (trade), the president excitedly described the prospect of a post-Brexit U.S.-U.K. trade deal. Under a deal, Trump said, "Trade is going to increase many times ... tremendous increases in trade between our two countries which is great for both in terms of jobs."
Let's be clear, Trump's words would have been met with a mix of wonder and glee in Downing Street.
The British government had been concerned that last year's Britain First related fall out between Trump and May might cast a shadow over their future relations. Yet Trump clearly has moved past the issue and on trade and security, Trump is now more pro-British in his policies than President "back of the queue" Obama.
Even then, Trump had another olive branch to the special relationship. In an interview with Piers Morgan following the sit-down with May, Trump did something very rare.
Perhaps having read my piece from December, the president robustly distanced himself from the "horrible racist people" of Britain First and apologized for any upset his Britain First retweets might have caused. And Trump again re-emphasized his unwavering commitment to British security.
Now while the apology and pledges of support might not seem like a big deal to many Americans, they will play very well with a British public who would never expect Trump to show such humility. Britons will watch that apology, sit back, and wonder "Perhaps Trump isn't all that bad. Perhaps I should rethink my assessment of him."
In the context of a possible near-term election in Britain that could see the election of an avowed anti-American, Jeremy Corbyn, Trump has a strategic interest in showing British voters that Theresa May is earning positive commitments from his government. And there's no question about it: This week, Trump delivered the goods.
He deserves credit for his statesmanship.