- US President was expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office
- But Government officials have been told the president has gone cold on the idea
- No new date has been offered, raising the prospect of a major diplomatic snub
- Trump blamed the Obama administration for the fallout, after the ‘best located and finest embassy in London’ was sold
Donald Trump canceled plans to visit Britain in February, and is blaming the Obama administration for the fallout.
The US President took to Twitter late Thursday night to talk down the administration’s decision to sell the acclaimed American Embassy London, formerly located in Grosvenor Square.
‘Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!,’ Trump wrote.
But, according to the embassy’s website, the decision to change the location to the new Nine Elms area of Wandsworth took place during George W. Bush’s time in office, prior to Obama’s in January 2009.
Donald Trump has scrapped plans to visit Britain next month, the Mail understands. Government sources have been told the president has gone cold on the idea
Trump took to Twitter Thursday saying the ‘real’ reason why he canceled was because the Obama administration ‘sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London’
The United States Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, UK is pictured is this undated photo
Exterior view of the new United States Embassy in London, England is shown on December 15, 2017. At a cost of over £750 million, the new embassy is the most expensive in the world
Trump was previously expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office, but Government officials were newly informed he went cold on the idea.
A new date has not been offered, raising the prospect of a major diplomatic snub. One senior source told the Mail that Mr Trump – who was expected to officially open the new US embassy in London – had cancelled because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit.
The reversal comes despite Mr Trump telling Theresa May last month that he would come to Britain in the New Year.
Preparations were advanced for a ‘working’ visit to officially open the embassy, but the Mail understands this role will now be performed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Mr Trump was also scheduled to hold talks with Mrs May in No 10, with February 26 and 27 marked in the diary. Downing Street had hoped to confirm the dates this week.
Taunting: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling appear to be calling the President ‘chicken’
Disinvited: Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labour party – currently the UK’s second biggest party – tweeted that Trump was not wanted in London and that the President knew this
Not welcome: Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said citizens had ‘made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome’
Another view: UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused the London Mayor and current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of putting the US-UK relationship at risk by encouraging people to protest if Trump came to town
President Trump, pictured here with his wife Melania, could have cancelled the trip because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit
Several high profile politicians in the UK took to Twitter to comment on the cancellation of the trip, with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, saying citizens had ‘made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome’.
Even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling had her say on Twitter, posting a poultry emoji which she appeared to have used to illustrate calling the President ‘chicken’.
A source told the Daily Mail that the lack of ‘bells and whistles’ and royal involvement next month visit may have discouraged Trump.
Mr Trump has previously expressed concern about the likelihood of mass protests. Last year he told Mrs May he did not want to go ahead with a visit until the British public supported it.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appeared to allude to these promised protests on Twitter, where he accused the London Mayor and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of putting the US-UK relationship at risk by encouraging anti-Trump demonstrations.
The Prime Minister and the President clashed in November when she criticised his decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim propaganda from a far-Right group, Britain First. In a rare public rebuke, she said: ‘I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.’
Mr Trump hit back on Twitter, saying: ‘Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.’ He added: ‘We are doing just fine!’
The abrupt reversal comes despite Mr Trump telling Theresa May in a phone call last month that he would visit Britain in the New Year
President Trump clashed with Mrs May in November when she criticised his decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim propaganda from a far-Right group, Britain First
They clashed again when Mrs May criticised his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling it ‘unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region’.
However, following a phone call between the pair on December 19, officials were bullish about the visit taking place. Their conversation was described as ‘genial’.
The prospect of mass protests were raised last month after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged his followers to turn out in force if Mr Trump visited the UK to send him a ‘clear message’. More than a million people signed a petition last year calling for the state visit to be cancelled.
Officials have already moved into the £750 million US embassy near Battersea Power Station in south London. An official opening involving the two leaders would have dispelled any concerns about the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the US, and boosted hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal.
Mr Trump was due to officially open the new US embassy in London (pictured). The Mail understands this role will now be performed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
The prospect of mass protests during any visit were raised last month after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged his followers to turn out in force if Mr Trump visited the UK
Countries Trump WILL visit
President Trump took part in a high-profile 24-hour visit to France that was topped off with a military parade on Bastille Day
The President was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers at King Khalid International Airport in the capital Riyadh. As he arrived, he was flanked by horsemen carrying Saudi and American flags. He even held King Salman’s hand as he was welcomed by the Saudi Royal Court.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara welcomed the President and First Lady Melania to their ‘palace’. Mr Netanyahu said they had the house painted especially for the visit, and he gave the Trumps a 150-year-old bottle of wine as a gift.
Mr Trump’s 24-hour visit was topped off with a military parade on Bastille Day. Mr Trump, who was guest of honour at the celebrations, enthusiastically applauded the soldiers and tanks on the Champs Elysees. He later shared a 29-second handshake with French president Emmanuel Macron.
An enthusiastic reception as people were bussed in to Warsaw and chanted ‘Donald Trump’ throughout his speech.
The reception was not as warm, with protesters lining the streets as the President attended the G20 summit.
Mr Trump was welcomed with an elaborate palace ceremony and a round of golf with one of the country’s champion players.
President Moon Jae-in repeatedly invoked Mr Trump’s campaign slogan by saying he was ‘making America great again’.
President Xi Jinping personally showed Mr Trump around the Imperial Palace.
Last night, Downing Street refused to comment. A spokesman said: ‘An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted.’
The US embassy said no firm date had been announced and suggested the President was still expected this year. On Tuesday, the White House confirmed Mr Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. The event, from January 23 to 26, brings together the world’s economic and political elites.
Mr Trump has been battling the fallout from a highly critical book. He tried to ban Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, but it soared to the top of the bestseller lists. The book claimed officials around the President questioned his ‘intelligence and fitness for office’.
In the Commons this week, Labour frontbencher Liz McInnes urged the Government to withdraw the invitation for a state visit, calling it ‘wretched’. She said it should be scrapped to ‘save Her Majesty from that unpleasant-sounding ordeal’.
But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: ‘I think Her Majesty the Queen is well capable of taking this American President, or indeed any American President, in her stride.’
On Thursday alone, Mr Trump made several foreign policy blunders, as the Washington Post reported that he insulted immigrants coming into the U.S. from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
‘Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?’ Mr Trump said.
He also gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal where he made confusing remarks about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
‘I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,’ Mr Trump said, after months of taunting him with the nickname ‘Little Rocket Man.’
The American president has had a number of foreign policy stumbles throughout his first year in office.
In May, Mr Trump memorably shoved aside the leader of Montenegro during a NATO summit, pushing his way to the front of a photo-op.
He’s confused facts, suggesting Korea used to be part of China, when it was not. He’s conflated the identities of Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III.
Member of Trump’s White House team haven’t made things better, misspelling Prime Minister May’s first name three times – by dropping the ‘H’ – on the official schedule of her January 2017 visit.
This week, White House messed up the spelling of Norway as the country’s prime minister was heading to Washington, D.C.