Trump might not visit U.K. this year in order to avoid protests
President Donald Trump reportedly told U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that he won’t visit her country if he faced the prospect of large protests there over his presence — meaning the president might not make it to the shores of America’s closest ally for a very, very long time.
According to the Guardian, a “Downing Street adviser who was in the room” when the two leaders were speaking on the phone said the call occurred within the last several weeks. The trip was originally scheduled to take place later this month as part of a swing to several European countries, but then it was tentatively rescheduled for the fall.
May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after he took office, seven days after his inauguration; during that visit, she invited him to the U.K. this year on behalf of the queen. On Friday, May experienced a shocking setback when an election she called with the expectation of consolidating power wound up robbing her Conservative Party of its outright majority in Parliament amid major gains by the Labour Party.
Trump is not well-loved in Britain. According to U.K. polls, the majority of Brits don’t like the president and believe he is likely to make the world a more dangerous place. Trump doesn’t tend to go places where he’s extremely unpopular, even when it’s home — he’s traveled back to New York City only once since taking office, and avoided any public appearances while there.
The White House said Sunday that Trump hadn’t discussed a visit to the U.K. during the phone call with May. But it did not specify when Trump would make the visit.
Cancellation of President Trump's State Visit is welcome, especially after his attack on London's mayor & withdrawal from #ParisClimateDeal.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 11, 2017
The Guardian’s report comes days after Trump renewed his Twitter feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan over and about a week after Trump announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. The latest feud with Khan was related to the mayor’s response to the June 3 terrorist attack in London, which came less than two weeks after a terrorist attack in Manchester.
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” Trump wrote, taking Khan’s comment out of context. Khan was, in fact, advising the public not to be alarmed at seeing increased police presence in the wake of the attacks.
It’s unclear if Trump’s phone call with May occurred before or after those attacks.