The US ambassador to Britain has said he expects Donald Trump to visit the UK next year.
Despite the President’s recent row with Theresa May over the sharing of far-right anti-Muslim videos, Woody Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he “absolutely” believes Mr Trump will come to Britain in the new year.
Mr Johnson, a former NFL tycoon, also insisted America’s relationship with the UK was “very, very good” and that the disagreement in November was “probably misinterpreted”.
“Absolutely, I think he will come”, he said. “It hasn’t been officially announced but I hope he does.”
He admitted Mr Trump had not yet set a date for the visit, but pointed out that an invitation from the Queen had been issued, and Mr Trump had accepted.
“I think this President will handle it in his own unique way,” he added. “I think the British people should know that security and prosperity, as well as shared prosperity and shared security, are utmost in his mind.”
Defending the billionaire’s retweeting of violent videos posted on Twitter by Britain First’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen, Mr Johnson said the President just wanted to “protect Americans” and was doing “his best to do that”.
“He’s not going to go down the path of a lot of politicians and maybe be namby-pamby about it,” Mr Johnson added.
“He’s going to come out, he’s probably going to take some chances, and maybe he’ll ruffle feathers.”
The ambassador insisted the relationship between the two countries was still strong, citing the fact Ms May was the first foreign leader to visit the White House under the new administration and that Mr Trump “had made a point of bringing the bust of Winston Churchill into the Oval Office”.
There has been pressure on Ms May to cancel a planned state visit for Mr Trump following her criticism of the President’s tweeting.
She said at the time Mr Trump had been “wrong” to post the videos, but refused to withdraw the invitation.
Mr Trump hit back, telling Ms May: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
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