White House: Trump didn't reject United Kingdom state visit
Jan 13, 2018, 06:54
U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a trip to London scheduled for next month to open a new embassy, saying he did not want to endorse a bad deal agreed by the Obama administration to sell the old one for "peanuts".
Trump said in a late-night tweet that he had decided not to come to London to open the new USA embassy.
Khan noted Trump's cancellation "reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place".
While the date of a Trump visit had never been confirmed, speculation suggested the president would formally open the embassy at a ceremony in February.
"We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed-up, pompous popinjay in City Hall", Johnson tweeted.
The US will leave behind an imposing 1960 stone and concrete embassy in London's upmarket Grosvenor Square - an area known as "Little America" during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D Eisenhower.
Although the decision was not made under Obama, Trump is correct to say that the sale of the embassy was completed during the Obama administration.
"The US is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure", the spokesman said.
But Trump said his decision, announced in a late-night tweet, was due to the president's concerns about the embassy's move from the tony Mayfair district to a far less fashionable area of London. "Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"
After United States President Donald Trump cancelled his planned visit to London, Mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday said that the former "got the message" from Londoners.
Last year, a petition to stop Trump from making an official state visit to Britain garnered over 1.8 million signatures. "He is not welcome in London and he certainly isn't welcome in Queenstown", he said.
The American flag was this month removed from Grosvenor Square where the United States embassy has been based since 1938 with the area known as "Little America" during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Just south of the River Thames, the cube-shaped embassy building is in sight of Westminster and part of a £15 billion, 561-acre regeneration project set to transform one of the South Bank's last remaining industrial stretches.
The new building will open for business on January 16.
"This has been a long and careful process", Robert Tuttle, former US ambassador to Britain, said in October 2008.
Bemused construction workers and passers-by took selfies with the Trump waxwork, which was first unveiled at Madame Tussauds in January previous year.
Leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, who visited Trump following his election, said it was "disappointing" the president could not visit when he had been to so many other countries.
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Trump blamed the Obama administration for the move, accusing it of selling the old embassy for "peanuts" in a "bad deal". The trip, which was not officially on the books, would have been Trump's first visit to the United Kingdom as president.
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