President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday night that he nixed a February trip to the United Kingdom, and blamed the cancellation on former President Barack Obama and a decision to move the United States’ London embassy.
However, the Obama administration did not make that decision — it was announced in 2008 when President George W. Bush was still in office.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The Bush administration said at the time that it decided to build a new embassy rather than renovate the existing one because it was the best way to achieve the “goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy.”
Trump was invited to London to celebrate the opening of the new embassy. His objections to its location, however, are likely a convenient excuse for him to skip a United Kingdom trip. The visit has been up in the air for about a year, as Trump was concerned about his potential reception there. Trump likely would have been met with protests.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who Trump has insulted in the past, said Friday that Trump “got the message” that Londoners didn’t want him to visit.
“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,” Khan said. “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.”