Trump won’t get the red car­pet, vows Lon­don mayor

Khan re­news at­tack on US pres­i­dent with vo­cal op­po­si­tion to plans for state visit to Britain

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Nick Allen in Wash­ing­ton

SADIQ KHAN, the Mayor of Lon­don, has re­newed his feud with Don­ald Trump and sug­gested there should be no “rolling out the red car­pet” with a state visit for the US pres­i­dent.

Mr Khan told CNN: “State vis­its are dif­fer­ent from a nor­mal visit and at a time when the pres­i­dent of the USA has poli­cies that many in our coun­try dis­agree with, I am not sure it is ap­pro­pri­ate for our govern­ment to roll out the red car­pet.”

Theresa May ex­tended the in­vi­ta­tion of a state visit in Jan­uary and it was ac­cepted, but a source in Wash­ing­ton told The Daily Tele­graph no pre­lim­i­nary ar­range­ments of any kind have been made.

Mr Khan added: “If some­one has views that I think can be changed I am ready to play my role. If you some­how think it is not pos­si­ble to be a Mus­lim and a proud West­erner I am happy to dis­abuse you of that idea, whether you are a reporter for CNN or Don­ald Trump.”

Mr Khan pre­vi­ously vo­cally op­posed Mr Trump’s travel ban against peo­ple from a group of pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries en­ter­ing the US.

Af­ter the Lon­don Bridge ter­ror­ist at­tack Mr Trump crit­i­cised Mr Khan for telling Lon­don­ers there was “no rea­son to be alarmed” by an in­creased po­lice pres­ence on the streets.

Ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Mr Trump and Mrs May, leaked at the week­end, the pres­i­dent has been con­cerned at the re­cep­tion he would re­ceive in the UK.

He re­port­edly told Mrs May: “When I know I’m go­ing to get a bet­ter re­cep­tion, I’ll come and not be­fore.”

Asked whether the leak of the tran­script was ac­cu­rate, Sean Spicer, the White House press sec­re­tary, said yes­ter­day: “I’m not go­ing to com­ment on ru­moured leaks.

“But I will say he [Mr Trump] was pleased to ac­cept Her Majesty’s in­vi­ta­tion and looks for­ward to vis­it­ing the UK.”

A poll by ABC and The Wash­ing­ton Post, pub­lished yes­ter­day, showed that the pres­i­dent’s ap­proval rat­ing at home has fallen to 34 per cent, with his tweet­ing habit a ma­jor ir­ri­tant.

Seventy per cent say he has acted in “an un­pres­i­den­tial man­ner” since tak­ing of­fice, 68 per cent do not see him as a pos­i­tive role model, with 67 per cent dis­ap­prov­ing of his use of Twit­ter. And 56 per cent say un­pres­i­den­tial con­duct by Mr Trump is “dam­ag­ing to the pres­i­dency over­all”.

Yes­ter­day a US court asked Mr Trump’s staff to turn over records of vis­i­tors to his Mar-a-lago es­tate in Florida. Mr Trump vis­ited his pri­vate “Win­ter White House” seven times in Fe­bru­ary and May.

That led to a le­gal chal­lenge from the Cit­i­zens for Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Ethics in Wash­ing­ton (Crew) de­mand­ing to know who he had been meet­ing.

In re­sponse, a New York court has asked the Se­cret Ser­vice to turn over records of the peo­ple who vis­ited Mr Trump. Noah Book­binder, Crew’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said: “The pub­lic de­serves to know who is com­ing to meet with the pres­i­dent and his staff. It needs to be pub­lic for meet­ings at the White House as well.”

The group has also chal­lenged Mr Trump’s de­ci­sion to stop pub­lish­ing White House visi­tor logs.

Mean­while, con­tro­versy con­tin­ued to sur­round a meet­ing in New York be­tween Don­ald Trump Jr, the pres­i­dent’s son, a Rus­sian lawyer and a Rus­sian for­mer in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

The pres­i­dent also re­newed his de­fence of his son. He wrote on Twit­ter: “Most politi­cians would have gone to a meet­ing like the one Don Jr at­tended in or­der to get info on an op­po­nent. That’s pol­i­tics!”

Among politi­cians who dis­agreed was Martin Schulz, leader of Ger­many’s So­cial Democrats, who replied di­rectly to Mr Trump on Twit­ter. He wrote: “Don­ald Trump, I wouldn’t have gone there. This is not pol­i­tics.”

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