How Theresa May's handling the Trump tweet row

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Media captionShould Donald Trump's state visit be called off?

There are many - not all of them Opposition party MPs - who frankly detest Donald Trump and all his works, who wanted to see Theresa May and her ministers come down much harder on the 45th President of the United States today.

They hoped the PM would hit back at his dismissive tweet against her in harsher language - and even announce that the president's state visit to the UK was now off.

But it's also worth noting that publicly cancelling a state visit - and remember these invitations come, at least officially, from Buckingham Palace not from Downing Street - would elevate this unprecedented and extraordinary trans-Atlantic spat into a full blown diplomatic crisis between the UK, and its most important strategic ally.

The prime minister has reason to try to avoid that. There's the strategic partnership she and the home secretary mentioned today, and there's the importance of the US to Britain's hopes of building new trading links after Brexit, which they didn't mention.

There's also the fact that Theresa May plainly felt she had made her point today without escalating this row beyond the point of no return.

Mrs May and her home secretary, Amber Rudd, were at pains to stress that no date has been set for a state visit no-one at Westminster now imagines will happen any time soon.

You could argue preserving Britain's influence as a global player after Brexit looks like a tough challenge.

But managing a calm and stable relationship with a president like Donald Trump looks like a task that's well beyond Theresa - and arguably - anyone else.