Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Trump takes chaotic tour to Britain

‘HELL TOUPEE’:Theresa May’s ‘soft’ Brexit plan and European immigrants were the targets of Trump’s ire as his handlers steered him clear of London protests

AP, BLENHEIM PALACE, England

Demonstrators yesterday fly a balloon portraying US President Donald Trump as an angry baby in London’s Parliament Square.

Photo: Reuters

Dishing up a fresh dose of chaos on his European tour, US President Donald Trump left behind a contentious NATO gathering in Brussels and moved on to Britain, where a pomp-filled welcome ceremony was soon overshadowed by an interview.

Trump blasted British Prime Minister Theresa May, blamed London’s mayor for terror attacks against the city and said that Europe was “losing its culture” because of immigration in the interview with the Sun published on Thursday.

Trump told the newspaper that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including plans yesterday to fly a giant balloon over parliament that depicts him as an angry baby in a diaper.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he said.

Trump, in the interview given before he left Brussels, accused May of ruining what her nation stands to gain from the Brexit vote to leave the EU.

He said former foreign secretary for foreign and commonwealth affairs Boris Johnson would make an “excellent” prime minister, speaking just days after Johnson resigned his position in protest over May’s Brexit plans.

Trump added that May’s “soft” blueprint for the UK’s future dealings with the EU would probably “kill” any future trade deals with the US.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said.

“The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on,” he added.

He also told the tabloid that he had shared advice with May during Britain’s negotiations with the EU and she ignored it.

Details from Trump’s interview became public as Trump was attending a black-tie dinner with May to welcome him to Britain.

On Thursday night, hundreds of demonstrators chanted outside the US ambassador’s residence where Trump was staying on the outskirts of London, providing a preview of the forceful protests expected yesterday.

Trump said he did not feel welcome in the city and blamed that in part on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gave protesters permission to fly the 6m-tall balloon.

Trump also blamed terrorist attacks there on Khan, who is a Muslim, and said that Europe is “losing its culture” because of immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a sham,” he said. “I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”

In contrast to Trump’s sharp words, his first event in England was an oasis of warm greetings at an evening reception at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. Trump’s staff opted to keep him largely out of central London and the swarms of demonstrators who are likely to provide some of the defining images of his first official trip to the UK.

Trump’s departure from the ambassador’s residence was met by jeers from demonstrators banging pots and pans, and another pack of protesters lined roads near the palace. Some of their signs read “Dump Trump,” “Lock Him Up” and “There Will Be Hell Toupee.”

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