White House officials are now saying Trump won’t make a trip to England this summer after a hurried, secret plan to sneak the president into the country was leaked to the English press causing widespread outrage.
Trump’s unpopularity in the United Kingdom is legendary, and his aversion to protesters has caused him to refuse to visit the nation until they can guarantee there won’t be mass protests. But his staff apparently came up with a gamble that would allow him to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May while avoiding the backlash. Unfortunately for him, it fell through almost immediately.
Trump wanted to visit his golf course in Scotland (because, of course) while he was in Europe for the G20 meeting and the plan was to have him quietly pop over to London so he could meet with May. To avoid any chance of protests, Trump’s staff is said to have warned British officials that the president would only be giving 24-hour notice before dropping by. This way, they reasoned, protesters wouldn’t even know he was in the country before he was leaving again.
Whitehall sources confirmed the government had been warned that the president could visit Turnberry, one of his two golf resorts in Scotland, during his trip to Europe, between attending the G20 summit in Hamburg and joining celebrations for Bastille Day in France on 14 July.
Trump would be expected to come to Downing Street to meet the prime minister for informal talks as part of any such visit, though final confirmation would be likely to be given with just 24 hours’ notice to minimise the risk of disruption.
But like everything with Trump’s flailing administration, the plan leaked to the press and protesters vowed to be ready, even at short notice.
So the White House is back to saying he won’t be visiting our ally after all. At least not this summer.
A spokeswoman for the US president said on Monday that no trip was imminent, amid mounting speculation that Trump was planning to make an unofficial visit to the UK on his way to or from the G20 summit in Hamburg this week.
“While we look forward to visiting the UK, it will not happen in the next two weeks,” the spokeswoman said.
It’s doubtful that the White House’s denials are going to make any would-be protesters put their guard down. The Trump administration has such a deep reputation of lying, that a denial from them means absolutely nothing. It’s likely that angry English citizens will gather at Trump’s Scottish golf course while Trump is in Europe juussstttt in case. And Trump has a notoriously hard time resisting a game of golf.
Meanwhile, Trump is getting ready to meet his on-again, off-again friend Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. His advisers told CNN that the president is not planning to bring up the fact that Russia hacked the U.S. elections. Nevertheless, it will certainly be the elephant in the room.
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