Trump cancels London visit over 'bad' embassy deal

US President Donald Trump won't be paying a visit to London to open his country's billion-dollar embassy, he tweeted ...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 12:51 PM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 12:51 PM

US President Donald Trump won't be paying a visit to London to open his country's billion-dollar embassy, he tweeted Thursday.

The trip, which would have been Trump's first to the UK as president, had not been officially announced but was expected next month.

US President says he won't visit London for ribbon-cutting of new embassy

Trump cites disapproval with embassy deal, but he would have faced considerable protests

In the tweet, Trump blames his predecessor, former president Barack Obama, for the decision to sell the existing embassy, which he describes as "the best located and finest" in the city, for "'peanuts.'"

"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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" the full tweet reads.

The decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms was made in 2008 under George W. Bush, not Obama. It would have been impossible to retrofit the aging concrete building with the security measures needed, officials said at the time.

Options examined

"We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square," then-Ambassador Robert Tuttle said.

"In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility."

Ground was broken at the new site, in Nine Elms, in November 2013. Philadelphia-based architects KieranTimberlake won the tender to design the new building, according to the US embassy website.

The existing complex in Grosvenor Square has been sold to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, which will convert it into a hotel.

UK officials, based in London, said they were initially told to plan for a visit from Trump to the UK at the end of February. But word came from Washington in recent days that the trip was likely off.

The officials declined to say why, and said the decision was made by the Americans.

Unpopular leader likely to be met with protest

Large protests are expected to accompany any presidential visit to the British capital, where Trump is deeply unpopular.

A UK official said on Friday the invitation to Trump for a state visit, first extended by British Prime Minister Theresa May during her visit to the US early in Trump's presidency, still stands: "The invitation for a State Visit has been extended and accepted," the official said.

The official drew a distinction between the state visit, which would include a visit with Queen Elizabeth II and royal trappings like a horse parade, and a working visit, that would include a meeting with May and other diplomatic formalities like opening the embassy.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband replied to Trump's tweet shortly after it was posted, challenging the assertion that it was Trump's dissatisfaction with the deal that had derailed the visit.

"Nope it's because nobody wanted you to come," Miliband wrote in a reply to the US leader's tweet. "And you got the message."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a vocal critic of Trump, said Friday that the President "got the message from the many Londoners who love America and Americans but find his policies and action the polar opposite of our city's values."

In November last year, Khan slammed Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a British far-right party, and suggested May shouldn't welcome Trump into their country for a state visit.

Khan, who is Muslim, called Britain First, the far-right party Trump retweeted, "a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

He added that the videos make it "increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed."

West Lafayette
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 88°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 85°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 84°
Fowler
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 88°
Williamsport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 88°
Crawfordsville
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Frankfort
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 85°
Monticello
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
Logansport
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 86°
Warm and windy with plenty of sunshine!
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events