Hot reception for Trump
US President flies into Scotland as hundreds of thousands protest across UK over visit
HUNDREDS of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Britain to protest against Donald Trump’s “stoking of fear and hate” as he spent yesterday desperately trying to repair the damage he had done to Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
The US President apologised to the Prime Minister for an incendiary newspaper interview, in which he suggested her Chequers Plan for a softer Brexit would “probably kill” a future UK-US trade deal.
Mr Trump also criticised her premiership and claimed she had refused his offer of advice on how to handle Brussels.
But later he dramatically changed his tune, saying a trade deal was “absolutely possible”. The change came as:
▪ It was reported the American leader “totally hates” Nicola Sturgeon and “bitches about” her to Theresa May.
▪-a large caricature of a baby Donald Trump, complete with nappy, flew over Westminster.
▪ 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted on charges that they hacked Democrat email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election.
Mr Trump lavished praise on Mrs May, who, he said, was a “fantastic woman… doing an incredible job” and he insisted the UK and US enjoyed the “highest level” of a special relationship.
As the President observed a UK-US special forces display at Sandhurst and went to Chequers for talks with the PM before taking tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle, protesters began to gather at various locations north and south of the Border.
Mr Trump’s engagements took place as it emerged that 12 Russian intelligence officers had been indicted on charges that they hacked into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. The US justice department also alleged the officers released stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls.
The indictment, which comes days before Mr Trump holds a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, is the clearest allegation yet of Russian efforts to meddle in American politics.
As Mr Trump prepared to continue his UK visit in Scotland, large protests took place in London, with an estimated 250,000 taking part in the biggest demonstration centred on Trafalgar Square. A caricature of a baby Donald Trump, complete with nappy, flew over Westminster.
However, the protesters behind the 20ft blimp were refused permission to fly it at Holyrood as officials decided it would
“not be an appropriate use of the Parliament’s grounds”.
Lucy Guy, a TV comedy writer, brought a handmade poster to the London protest, which read: “Not even your wife likes you.”
In Glasgow as Mr Trump prepared with his wife Melania to fly to Prestwick Airport to begin a weekend of golf at his Ayrshire course of Turnberry, some
2,000 people turned out in George Square.”
The President sparked criticism across the political divide after he commented on Mrs May’s softer Brexit plan, telling the Sun: “[If]they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal... I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”
But after a working lunch at the PM’S country retreat in Buckinghamshire, Mr Trump changed tack.
He told a joint press conference that it was “absolutely possible” to do a post-brexit trade deal with Britain and suggested the Sun’s article was “fake news”.
The President told Mrs May: “Whatever you do is okay with me[on Brexit]. Just make sure we can trade together.”
He heaped praise on her negotiating skills and said: “She’s a very smart, very tough, very capable person and I would much rather have her as my friend than my enemy.”
More than 2,000 people took part in a demonstration in George Square, Glasgow, to display their anger over Donald Trump’s four-day visit to the UK. The US President flew into Scotland last night. Picture: Colin Mearns