Mike Huckabee, who was governor of Arkansas for 11 years, tweeted to say that the great wartime leader was “hated by his own party, opposition party and press”, just like the US president.
He also appeared to compare Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain, the British PM who was best known for pursuing a foreign policy of appeasement with the Nazis.
Politician turned Fox News commentator Mr Huckabee wrote: “Churchill was hated by his own party, opposition party, and press. Feared by King as reckless, and despised for his bluntness.
“But unlike Neville Chamberlain, he didn’t retreat. We had a Chamberlain for 8 yrs; in @realDonaldTrump we have a Churchill.”
National Archives papers
His comments sparked anger from British MPs.
Defence minister Tobias Ellwood invited Huckabee to meet with Sir Nicholas Soames – who is Churchill’s grandson and a Tory MP.
Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, joined in the condemnation.
MP and former Labour leadership contender Chuka Umunna said: “Your President in no way shape or form comes close to being the leader that Churchill was”.
While Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said he couldn’t “be bothered to correct the rest of this nonsense” after pointing out that Churchill described himself as “a liberal”.
Labour MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, went as far as to say Churchill “fought Nazis rather than repeated (or retweeted) them”.
Others in the US and across the world were also quick to condemn Huckabee’s tweet, with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt describing Huckabee as “a history ignoramus for the ages”.
Conservative MP from Norway Kristian Tonning Riise also voiced his opinion on the matter, praising Churchill as “one of history’s most gifted orators”.
Trump is expected to visit the UK in February for the opening of the new American embassy in London.