On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that he would not be making his trip to the United Kingdom after all:
He tweeted: “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!” to justify his decision.
This is one of the more absurd lies Trump has told. According to the Guardian, the embassy’s plan to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms in London was first reported in October 2008, when George W. Bush was still president.
In reality, mass protests throughout the country have been planned, with many Britons threatening to line his travel route—wherever his motorcade would go—turn their backs on him, drop their pants, and moon him.
And those are the nice protests.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said Trump “got the message” that many Londoners staunchly opposed his policies and actions. He stated:
It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests. This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.
Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he’s finally got that message. pic.twitter.com/YD0ZHuWtr3
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 12, 2018
Trump and Khan have clashed before; in the hours after a deadly terrorist attack last year on London Bridge, the president tweeted that the mayor was “pathetic.”
Former opposition party leader Ed Miliband said the reason Trump had canceled his trip was “because nobody wanted you to come. And you got the message.”
Nope it’s because nobody wanted you to come. And you got the message. https://t.co/9xV7bFZQgL
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) January 12, 2018
The prime minister invited Trump for a state visit when she became the first world leader to visit the president in the White House a year ago. Activists immediately pledged to stage protests and MPs have said they would not give the president the opportunity to address parliament.
British relations with Trump hit a low late last year when May criticized his decision to retweet videos posted by the far-right extremist group Britain First. Trump responded by tweeting directly to the prime minister (using the wrong Twitter handle the first time he tried it) that she should focus on tackling domestic terrorism.
The government was so concerned about his decision to share the videos that Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, took the rare step of raising the issue directly with the White House.
A recent poll commissioned by The Independent newspaper found 48% of British people believe the UK should withdraw the invitation for a full state visit, and more than 1.8 million people signed a petition to stop it from going ahead.
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Famed British writer and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, who has made trolling Donald Trump something of a cottage industry, responded to Trump’s cancellation with a single emoji: The Chicken Emoji
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 12, 2018