Trump Cancels Trip to London, Blaming 'Bad Embassy Deal’
Donald Trump announced via Twitter last week that he would no longer be attending the U.S. embassy opening in London scheduled for February 2018.
President Trump claimed this decision was down to the “bad deal” made by his predecessor on the new embassy building in Nine Elms, South London.
“[The] 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,” Trump wrote in a tweet late on Thursday.
Critics have been quick to point out that the decision to move the embassy was made during the Bush presidency, in 2008.
Many believe that Trump’s decision was actually due to the threat of protests from U.K. activists. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Friday: “It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance. His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.”
Khan went on to criticize the U.K. prime minister’s reaction to Trump’s trip: “This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”
U.S.-U.K. relations became dangerously strained in November of last year when Trump re-tweeted posts from the leader of UK far-right extremist group Britain First. The tweets were met with much criticism, including from May herself.
In response, the president engaged with the Prime Minister directly via Twitter: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine."