Trump Lands In U.K. For State Visit, And Insults London's Mayor

Jun 3, 2019
Originally published on June 3, 2019 1:32 pm

President Trump received a royal salute as he arrived in Britain for a state visit Monday, making his way to Buckingham Palace to greet Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family. Scripted to the minute, the carefully choreographed visit also included a review of an honor guard at the palace.

Standing on Buckingham Palace's west terrace, Trump and first lady Melania Trump watched as rows of redcoated soldiers arrayed themselves across the palace's garden. As a military band played the U.S. national anthem, he then walked with Prince Charles down to the lawn to inspect the guard of honor, stopping occasionally to talk with service members.

Accompanying the president was an entourage that included his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband, the senior adviser Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway and immigration adviser Stephen Miller.

The Trumps will spend much of the day at Buckingham Palace, eating lunch with the queen and having tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. A state banquet will follow, around 7:40 p.m. local time.

President Trump (center) inspects an honor guard with Prince Charles on Monday after arriving at Buckingham Palace in London.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Much like last summer, Trump's visit comes as the U.K. struggles to find a way to exit the European Union. And on Tuesday, he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, who will leave office this month after failing to reach a deal that was politically palatable in both the U.K. and the EU.

On Wednesday, the Trumps will take part in a D-Day ceremony in Portsmouth, England. From there, they are scheduled to make a stop in Ireland before flying to France for a brief visit with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The goal of the U.K. visit, the White House says, is to "secure a stronger and more prosperous international relationship." It adds that while in England, Trump plans to discuss a new trade agreement with the U.K. as it negotiates the severing of ties with the European Union.

Another chief topic will be security, from the fight against ISIS to America's contentious relationship with China and Iran, as well as the situation in North Korea.

The state visit might be more formal than Trump's tour of the U.K. last summer, but that didn't stop the president from insulting London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter as he arrived — just as he did last June.

"He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me," Trump said. The president added that Khan "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."

The clash started over the weekend, when Khan said the U.K. was being "un-British" in hosting and celebrating Trump. Writing in The Observer newspaper, the mayor cited Trump's response to a white supremacist rally in Virginia, his immigration policies and other factors.

The U.S. president, Khan said, is part of a global threat that sows dangerous divisiveness and wins power through fear.

As NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London, "Khan said Trump's electoral tactics — along with leaders such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban — recall the quote: 'divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century.' "

After arriving for his multiday state visit, Trump also complained that because Fox News was not available, he had to watch CNN.

The president tweeted:

"Just arrived in the United Kingdom. The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available from the U.S. After watching it for a short while, I turned it off. All negative & so much Fake News, very bad for U.S. Big ratings drop. Why doesn't owner @ATT do something?"

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