Hot re­cep­tion for Trump

US Pres­i­dent flies into Scot­land as hun­dreds of thou­sands protest across UK over visit

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL SET­TLE UK PO­LIT­I­CAL EDITOR AT CHE­QUERS

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

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