Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tump’s visit to Bri­tain started in con­tro­ver­sial fash­ion

Trump be­gins his visit point­ing fin­ger at May...and Lon­don

NT News - - NEWS -

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump’s short visit to Bri­tain has be­gun in con­tro­ver­sial fash­ion with an at­tack on Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, who wel­comed him.

He has also blamed Lon­don’s mayor for ter­ror at­tacks against the city, and ar­gued that Europe is “los­ing its cul­ture” be­cause of im­mi­gra­tion.

In an in­ter­view with a Bri­tish tabloid news­pa­per pub­lished just be­fore his ar­rival, Mr Trump said he felt un­wel­come in Lon­don be­cause of planned mass protests, in­clud­ing plans to fly a gi­ant bal­loon over the Houses of Par­lia­ment that de­picts him as an an­gry baby in a di­a­per.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel un­wel­come, no rea­son for me to go to Lon­don,” he said.

Un­usu­ally for a vis­it­ing head of state, he is at­tend­ing no day en­gage­ments and spend­ing just one night in Lon­don, where tens of thou­sands were yes­ter­day ex­pected to protest against his visit.

Af­ter Mr Trump flew in to a re­gional air­port northeast of the cap­i­tal, Mrs May gave him a cer­e­mo­nial wel­come and ban­quet at Blen­heim Palace in ru­ral Ox­ford­shire.

By then, she had al­ready been slighted by her guest in his in­ter­view with The Sun. He ac­cused Mrs May of ru­in­ing what her coun­try stands to gain from the Brexit vote to leave the Euro­pean Union.

And he said her for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Boris John­son — who was so an­gered by Mrs May’s de­ci­sion to keep some links with the EU that he sen­sa­tion­ally quit this week — would make an “ex­cel­lent” prime min­is­ter.

Mr Trump added that Mrs May’s “soft” blue­print for fu­ture deal­ings with the EU would prob­a­bly “kill” any new trade deals with the US.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be deal­ing with the EU in­stead of the UK, so it will prob­a­bly kill the deal,” the Pres­i­dent said.

Mr Trump, who has com­pared his own elec­tion to the June 2016 ref­er­en­dum in which a ma­jor­ity of Bri­tish vot­ers sup­ported leav­ing the EU, com­plained: “The deal she is strik­ing is a much dif­fer­ent deal than the one the peo­ple voted on.”

As for Mr John­son, Mr Trump said: “I think he would be a great prime min­is­ter. I think he’s got what it takes.”

Mr Trump blamed his ap­par­ent un­pop­u­lar­ity in Lon­don on Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gave pro­test­ers per­mis­sion to fly the 6m blimp. He blamed re­cent ter­ror at­tacks there on Mr Khan.

And he said of mi­gra­tion to Europe from the Mid­dle East and Africa: “Al­low­ing that is a sham. I think it changed the fab­ric of Europe and, un­less you act very quickly, it’s never go­ing to be what it was.”

Pictures: AFP

The Pres­i­dent leads the PM into Blen­heim Palaca yes­ter­day and, left, Me­la­nia and Don­ald Trump with Theresa and Philip May

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