WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flash Flood Watch - Flood Advisory View Alerts

Trump cancels London visit over 'bad' embassy deal

US President Donald Trump won't be paying a visit to London to open his country's billion-dollar embassy, he tweeted ...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 11:51 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 11:51 AM

US President Donald Trump won't be paying a visit to London to open his country's billion-dollar embassy, he tweeted Thursday.

The trip, which would have been Trump's first to the UK as president, had not been officially announced but was expected next month.

US President says he won't visit London for ribbon-cutting of new embassy

Trump cites disapproval with embassy deal, but he would have faced considerable protests

In the tweet, Trump blames his predecessor, former president Barack Obama, for the decision to sell the existing embassy, which he describes as "the best located and finest" in the city, for "'peanuts.'"

"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!" the full tweet reads.

The decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms was made in 2008 under George W. Bush, not Obama. It would have been impossible to retrofit the aging concrete building with the security measures needed, officials said at the time.

Options examined

"We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square," then-Ambassador Robert Tuttle said.

"In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility."

Ground was broken at the new site, in Nine Elms, in November 2013. Philadelphia-based architects KieranTimberlake won the tender to design the new building, according to the US embassy website.

The existing complex in Grosvenor Square has been sold to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, which will convert it into a hotel.

UK officials, based in London, said they were initially told to plan for a visit from Trump to the UK at the end of February. But word came from Washington in recent days that the trip was likely off.

The officials declined to say why, and said the decision was made by the Americans.

Unpopular leader likely to be met with protest

Large protests are expected to accompany any presidential visit to the British capital, where Trump is deeply unpopular.

A UK official said on Friday the invitation to Trump for a state visit, first extended by British Prime Minister Theresa May during her visit to the US early in Trump's presidency, still stands: "The invitation for a State Visit has been extended and accepted," the official said.

The official drew a distinction between the state visit, which would include a visit with Queen Elizabeth II and royal trappings like a horse parade, and a working visit, that would include a meeting with May and other diplomatic formalities like opening the embassy.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband replied to Trump's tweet shortly after it was posted, challenging the assertion that it was Trump's dissatisfaction with the deal that had derailed the visit.

"Nope it's because nobody wanted you to come," Miliband wrote in a reply to the US leader's tweet. "And you got the message."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a vocal critic of Trump, said Friday that the President "got the message from the many Londoners who love America and Americans but find his policies and action the polar opposite of our city's values."

In November last year, Khan slammed Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a British far-right party, and suggested May shouldn't welcome Trump into their country for a state visit.

Khan, who is Muslim, called Britain First, the far-right party Trump retweeted, "a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

He added that the videos make it "increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 74°
Columbus
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 104°
Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather