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
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.”