White House: Trump didn't reject United Kingdom state visit

White House: Trump didn't reject United Kingdom state visit

On the face of it, Trump called off his "working" visit to the United Kingdom because of his displeasure at the Obama administration's decision to sell off the previous, "finest", embassy in Grosvenor Square to the Qataris for "peanuts" (never mind the fact that this decision was made in the final months of George W Bush's time in office, not Barack Obama's).

Asked if it was a discourtesy to the Queen for Mr Trump to keep putting off the state visit, he replied: "An invitation has been extended and accepted and we will set out details in due course".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to 26/11 victims at a memorial inside the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai on Monday.

Trump confirmed late Thursday that he canceled his trip to cut the ribbon at the new USA embassy, saying that he is "not a big fan" of an Obama-era real estate sale involving the new site.

The embassy said in a statement that the security and safety standards at the current embassy building at Grosvenor Square in London could not be maintained without a major infrastructure investment.

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!"

Simon Dawson  Reuters
Simon Dawson Reuters

Trump claimed he had scrapped the visit because he didn't want to open the new USA embassy in the British capital, but Khan suggested the real reason was because he wouldn't be welcome. The idea had gradually evolved into a working visit in which Trump would open the London embassy.

But the relationship between Trump and May has been far from rosy.

His decision not to come was welcomed by critics outraged by the USA travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, and more recently, Trump's decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right organisation. "He's scared at the hundreds of thousands of people that will be here, peacefully protesting against his visit because of his racist and his misogynistic views", said Labour MP Marsha de Cordova.

Donald Trump can't make it to London so Madame Tussaud's museum has set up a waxwork Trump outside the United States embassy in Battersea. But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson blamed Khan and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for discouraging the US leader from coming.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested the decision was prompted by the opposition to Trump in Britain and warned such critics "seem determined to put this crucial relationship at risk". "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".

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