Donald Trump did not cancel his visit to London over a “bad deal,” as he claimed, but out of fear that he would not be met with the adoring crowds he craved. Or so says the author of an explosive new book about the Trump White House.
Journalist Michael Wolff claims Mr Trump cancelled his trip because he “felt he would come to the United Kingdom and he would not receive the love he believes he deserves.”
"I think he was probably supported in this decision by the people around him, because they know bad things happen when this president does not receive the love he believes he deserves,” Mr Wolff said.
He added: “When he feels people are not according him proper respect, proper love, proper regard for him as a legitimate president, he goes crazy."
Mr Trump has repeatedly denounced Mr Wolff and his book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, as “full of lies”. He claims to have cancelled his visit to London – during which he planned to open the new US embassy – as payback for the “bad deal” his predecessor made in selling the old building.
“Reason I cancelled 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,” Mr Trump tweeted last week. “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO.”
The embassy deal was not inked during Mr Obama's tenure, but under his predecessor, George W Bush.
Mr Trump’s visit has been a source of controversy since the day Prime Minister Theresa May suggested it, during her visit to the White House last January. Mr Trump has repeatedly stoked controversy in the country since then, retweeting far-right groups and accusing the government of failing to respond to terrorist attacks.
London Mayor Sadiq Kahn – one of Mr Trump’s frequent targets – has also suggested that the President cancelled his state visit for fear of a less-than-warm reception.
“It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance,” Mr Khan said. “His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.”
Numerous activist groups had pledged to take to the streets if Mr Trump visited, and MPs promised to bar the President from addressing Parliament. A petition against the visit garnered more than a million signatures last year.
Downing Street said only that an invitation for the visit "has been extended and accepted, but no date has been set”.
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