President Donald Trump began his state visit to Britain Monday with pomp and controversy.
Even before Trump touched down to begin his three-day visit, London Mayor Sadiq Khan was attacking the president, writing in a Saturday Op-Ed for The U.K. Guardian that it was “un-British to be rolling out the red carpet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon — equality, liberty and religious freedom.”
Trump issued his reply via Twitter on Monday.
The president wrote that “.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty”’to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.”
“Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!” Trump wrote.
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….Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
In response, Khan’s office upbraided Trump for “childish insults which should be beneath the President of the United States,” according to Fox News.
“Sadiq is representing the progressive values of London and our country warning that Donald Trump is the most egregious example of a growing far-right threat around the globe, which is putting at risk the basic values that have defined our liberal democracies for more than 70 years,” the statement said.
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In his Op-Ed, Khan likened Trump to European dictators of the 1930s and 1940, and said the president did not deserve the welcome he was getting.
“There are some who argue that we should hold our noses and stomach the spectacle of honouring Trump in this fashion — including many Conservative politicians,” he wrote.
“They say we need to be realists and stroke his ego to maintain our economic and military relationship with the US. But at what point should we stop appeasing — and implicitly condoning — his far-right policies and views? Where do we draw the line?” Khan wrote.
“Rather than bestowing Trump with a grand platform of acceptability to the world, we should be speaking out and saying that this behavior is unacceptable – and that it poses a grave threat to the values and principles we have fought hard to defend – often together – for decades,” he wrote, later adding, “In years to come, I suspect this state visit will be one we look back on with profound regret and acknowledge that we were on the wrong side of history.”
Khan called upon outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to “issue a powerful rejection – not of the US as a country or the office of the presidency, but of Trump and the far-right agenda he embodies. She should say that the citizens of the UK and the US agree on many things, but that Trump’s views are incompatible with British values.”
Trump-bashing was not welcomed by Kate Hoey, a Labour Party member of Parliament who said Britain should focus on its alliance with the U.S., not personal feuding.
“Saddened by the hysterical reaction to visit of @POTUS by some Labour colleagues A democratically elected President of our closest ally should be welcomed whether we agree with his views or not. HM the Queen shows the world the nature of the U.K. @USAmbUK,” she tweeted.
Saddened by the hysterical reaction to visit of @POTUS by some Labour colleagues A democratically elected President of our closest ally should be welcomed whether we agree with his views or not. HM the Queen shows the world the nature of the U.K. @USAmbUK
— Kate Hoey (@KateHoeyMP) June 3, 2019
“I’m sure the President was angry – and he says what he thinks”.
The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, defends President Trump’s attack on Sadiq Khan, in which he called the London Mayor ‘a stone cold loser’. pic.twitter.com/edpfMQcREk
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) June 3, 2019
Trump arrived in Britain on Monday morning, then went to Buckingham Palace, where he and first lady Melania Trump had a private lunch with Queen Elizabeth.
Afterward, the Trumps went to Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, the BBC reported.
A tour followed the ceremony.
Donald Trump takes a tour of Westminster Abbey https://t.co/5XfWYQQH0G
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 3, 2019
During his time at Buckingham Palace, the queen showed the Trumps American items from the Royal Family’s vast collection.
Some more brilliant footage from @Hannah_Furness, this time from inside Buckingham Palace.
Here is The Queen showing Donald Trump around the Royal Collection. pic.twitter.com/qoQ5K8pbF2
— Gareth Davies (@GD10) June 3, 2019
A state dinner for the president was to follow Monday night. Trump will visit Ireland on Wednesday and then cross the English Channel to France to observe Thursday’s 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
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