Donald Trump in Britain: President lands as protests begin

13 July, 2018, 02:15 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Trump balloon appears before UK visit; embassy warns Americans to keep heads down

Timed with his arrival, members of Amnesty UK unfurled a banner reading "Donald Trump: Human Rights Nightmare" opposite the US Embassy.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were greeted with pomp and circumstance, along with protesters, as they arrived at Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom on Thursday for a gala dinner.

The Trumps landed at Stansted Airport, Essex, at 13:50 BST before a helicopter took them to Winfield House in Regent's Park, where they are staying as guests of the USA ambassador.

Just hours after May's foreign minister, Boris Johnson, resigned and complained that the Brexit dream was being suffocated, Trump said he might speak to him during the trip.

Trump "has proudly sparked passionate often divisive emotions about things, I think Americans living here to eager to turn out and express their views", he said.

"So that was the full planning that went into it - 10 pints of stout and, you know, late-night conversation."
While saying that he didn't have any message or advice, he added: "I would say Brexit is Brexit..."

Mr Trump has recently been under fire for his own immigration policy, which resulted in the separation of immigrant families.

The US President described Britain as a "pretty hot spot right now with a lot of resignations" and suggested his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday could be easier.

His visit is expected to be met with a number of protests in various cities including London - where the 19-foot Trump balloon is expected to fly over Parliament on Friday.

US allies played down Trump's suggestion he was responsible for increased defense spending.

Donald Trump and wife Melania have been pictured dressed up to the nines at a lavish dinner at Blenheim Palace, hosted by Theresa May.


Asked about Trump's comments, May said: "We're delivering on the vote of the British people to take back control of our money, our laws and our borders". He came directly from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, where he had questioned the US's commitment to the security alliance.

Johnson added that the President "appreciates free speech" and that he was "very focused on the special relationship" between the United States and the UK.

Ignoring all diplomatic niceties, the convention-shredding USA president set up the four-day visit with a rebuke of May as she battles to stop her government falling apart over Brexit.

As thousands of people prepare to protest on the streets of London on Friday and as an inflatable blimp depicting him as a baby in a nappy is prepared to be flown above central London, Trump also claimed that he is in fact very popular in the country.

On Thursday, Trump will travel to Blenheim Palace, the 18th-century stately home where Britain's World War Two leader Winston Churchill was born and spent most of his childhood.

Ahead of his arrival the PM said she would use the visit to "forge a strengthened, ambitious and future-proof trade partnership" with the U.S. after Brexit.

Only one person, the digital entrepreneur and philanthropist Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, has publicly refused the invitation.

After spending the night at the USA ambassador's official residence in Regent's Park, London, the United States president will join the Theresa May at a military base on Friday to view a joint counter-terrorism exercise involving UK and U.S. special forces.

The two leaders will hold talks the following day at Chequers, the 16th-century manor house which is the prime minister's official country residence. This part of the visit is being considered private.

Anti-Trump demonstrations were expected to take place in Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Cambridge and Cardiff.

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