The Prime Minister and the President briefly joined hands as they approached the joint press conference at the White House on Friday, in a move that has widely been interpreted as a growing sign of affection between the two world leaders.
However, sources claimed the President suffers from a fear of slopes and stairs, known as bathophobia, which led him to reach for Mrs May’s hand.
Downing Street plumped for a more diplomatic explanation, describing it as a “chivalrous gesture”.
It followed an intimate lunch where Donald Trump launched a charm offensive, telling Theresa May he wanted their relationship to be “even better” than the one enjoyed between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
“If you watch the video, they’re walking along and there is an unseen ramp,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.
“He offered his hand, which she took as they stepped down the ramp. It was a chivalrous gesture.”
Mrs May became the first world leader to meet the new President as they sought to cement the special relationship between the two countries.
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President Trump Meets With British PM Theresa May At The White House
It has been revealed why Donald Trump and Theresa May were holding hands at the White House
The conversation was described as “warm, free-flowing and unscripted”.
During lunch at the state dining room, Trump spoke about his desire to revive the transatlantic bond enjoyed by Thatcher and Reagan.
The President, who has taken to calling Mrs May “my Maggie”, also intimated he wanted to become “your Ronnie”.
“They talked a lot about Thatcher and Reagan, and both agreed it was one of the most successful political relationships ever,” the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said.
An inside source suggested President Trump has a fear of slopes and stairs
“They achieved great things together in the interests of their countries and the wider world.
They achieved great things together in the interests of their countries and the wider world
“They referred to the time that Thatcher took over Britain and the large challenges she faced, and agreed they had a shared admiration for her.
“Trump went on to say he always looked up to Reagan and said he wanted their relationship to be even better than that one.”
Trump also spoke at length about the Brexit vote and sought a second opinion from Mrs May, having previously heard the views of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage on the subject.
Downing Street described the moment as a 'chivalrous' act
“Trump made clear his views on Brexit,” the spokeswoman said.
“He’d heard Farage’s take and was interested to hear from the Prime Minister.”
However Mr Farage, who was the first British politician to meet the president-elect after his victory in November, was not mentioned in any other context – despite earlier suggestions that the President would press Mrs May on why she had refused to use him as a go-between.
“He (Trump) thinks Brexit is going to be a wonderful thing for our country,” the spokeswoman added.
The meeting between the two leaders signals strong relations between the two countries
Trump then revealed he kept menus to remember his significant moments.
“He gave the menu card to one of his members of staff and said ‘keep that safe, I had lunch with the British Prime Minister’,” her spokeswoman added.
On the menu was a baby iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese, braised beef shortribs with potato puree and glazed winter vegetables, followed by a pudding of salted caramel brulee.
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Trump speaks briefly to reporters as he arrives aboard Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews
Mrs May also enjoyed lunch with the US president
The meal was also attended by the Prime Minister’s Joint-Chiefs of Staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who had both publicly criticised Trump on social media before their appointment.
It had been suggested they would be rebuked by the President for their behaviour, but there were photographs of Ms Hill shaking hands with Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon.
It is thought the issue was not mentioned.