Trump cancels London trip amid threats of mass protests
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Trump cancels London trip amid threats of mass protests

US president blames predecessor Obama for 'bad deal' on new embassy he was set to open, while Theresa May's office says state visit still planned

US President Donald Trump (right), speaks to British Prime Minister Theresa May at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 25, 2017. (AP/Matt Dunham, Pool)
US President Donald Trump (right), speaks to British Prime Minister Theresa May at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, May 25, 2017. (AP/Matt Dunham, Pool)

WASHINGTON, United States — US President Donald Trump said late Thursday he no longer plans to attend the opening of a new US embassy in London.

He announced the decision in a midnight tweet amid reports in Britain that a Trump visit would be met with protests.

The president wrote that he was nixing the trip — initially scheduled for next month — because he is displeased with the location of the new embassy and its price tag.

“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars,” Trump wrote.

“Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”

However, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper pointed out that the decision to move the embassy was announced in October 2008, over a year before Obama was elected. At the time, ambassador Robert Tuttle said the move was for security and environmental reasons, as well as to modernize it for the 21st century.

“This has been a long and careful process. We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square,” Tuttle said in 2008.

Trump has also been offered a full-blown state visit to Britain but no date has been set, amid jitters over protests.

As recently as January 7, Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated that a state visit is still planned, saying “Trump is coming to the UK.”

An undated photograph of the gilded American eagle at the top of the old US Embassy in London. (CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons)
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