Trump's stated reason for cancelling London trip sparks skepticism, hashtag

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

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.

He tweeted: "The US is the biggest single investor in the United Kingdom - yet Khan & Corbyn seem determined to put this crucial relationship at risk".

President of the United States, Donald Trump completely rejected the reports in his message posted on Twitter before Thursday's midnight, saying that the trip, which was never declared but widely supposed to be done February, has been scrapped with the concerns that the leaders from the United States would meet with the worldwide protests.

He said the new embassy was a "signal to the world that this special relationship that we have is stronger and is going to grow and get better".

Asked whether British Prime Minister Theresa May shared Mr Trump's views about the area, her spokesman on Friday said it was "a vibrant and important part of London". "And you got the message".

She said Trump was "wrong" to do it and called the British group "hateful".

The official drew a distinction between the state visit, which would include a visit with Queen Elizabeth II and royal trappings like a horse parade, and a working visit, that would include a meeting with May and other diplomatic formalities like opening the embassy.

The president linked his decision to skip the ceremony to his disapproval of a "bad deal" done by the Obama administration to move the embassy from its old location for a cost he deemed too high. "She has seen them come and she has seen them go".

The "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the United States "will endure" despite Trump's cancellation, a spokesman was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Sadiq Khan
GETTY Sadiq Khan has clashed with the US president on numerous occasions

However, Trump has since tweeted that the *actual* reason for the cancellation of his visit was in fact that he was simply not a "big fan" of the new U.S. embassy in London.

The American flag was this month removed from Grosvenor Square where the USA embassy has been based since 1938 with the area known as "Little America" during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In October 2008, the embassy was put up for sale and, the following year, sold to Gulf investor Qatari Diar.

"This isn't just a new office, though, it signifies a new era of friendship between out two countries".

The new embassy location was selected more than a decade ago amid security concerns at the old site. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Woody Johnson, Trump's appointed US ambassador to Britain, told reporters last month that moving to the new site at Nine Elms reflected "the global outlook of the USA going forward in the 21st century: rather looking out, than looking in".

On the embassy web page about the project, it said: "The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds".

The new US embassy is a veritable fortress set back at least 100 feet from surrounding buildings such as high-rise residential blocks and incorporating living quarters for US Marines permanently stationed inside.

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