Trump cancels trip to Britain, ‘not a big fan’ of embassy

U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

U.S. President Donald Trump has canceled a visit to the United Kingdom, what would have been his first trip there since assuming the Oval Office.

And it comes after months of delays fueled by speculation that a visit would be contentious, with mass protests expected.

The president said on Twitter he cancelled because he disapproved the recent moving of the U.S. embassy there into a new building – what he called an “Obama administration” decision that was sold for “peanuts,” and he didn’t want to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The embassy move was announced before Obama was elected, during the last months of the Bush White House.

At the time officials said it was partially to upgrade its security.

The new building is in a less central location, but implements several features the old 1960’s office lacked, such as being set back from the street 100 feet with a moat to protect against bombings and an internal barracks for the marine guards.

The $1 billion construction was entirely funded by the sale of other U.S. properties in the city.

Almost every modern president since at least World War Two has visited Britain in their first year in office, and many in just the first couple months.

The president’s trip to the UK would have been what’s called a “working” visit. A separate, “state visit” with more pomp and an audience with the queen may still be on the table.

No date or firm plans have been made public, though, and mass demonstrations expected against Trump in the country considered America’s closest ally would likely complicate his security.

In November Trump retweeted unverified anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group, which drew condemnation from Prime Minister Theresa May.

He also has a long-standing feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who Trump has accused of being weak on combating recent militant attacks in the city.

A YouGov poll last year suggested over a third of Britons wants Trump to cancel any visit outright.



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