Donald Trump invites foreign tourists to the White House, then bans them

Exclusive: British Embassy reveals it has been notified by State Department that tycoon's administration has halted all visits

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 08 March 2017 09:00 GMT
Donald Trump surprises first White House tour visitors

Donald Trump’s chaotic start as US President is now impacting British tourists to Washington DC who hope to visit the White House.

The President and First Lady, Melania Trump, jointly announced the resumption of public tours at their new home. After an intense security screening process, visitors can take a 45-minute self-guided tour.

According to the official White House statement, visitors from the UK and elsewhere can apply for places, saying: “If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.”

But the British Embassy in the US capital quickly repudiated the announcement, citing the State Department: “The White House website states that foreign nationals interested in touring the White House should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour.

“However, the Embassy has been advised by the US Department of State that this is on hold.

“We are therefore unable to process any applications at this time.”

A father from west London, Julian Eccles, visited the White House during the Obama administration with his elder son in 2009, and expressed disappointment not to be able to repeat the experience with his younger son on a similar trip this year.

“There seems to be a rupture in White House-State Department relations here,” he said.

"Perhaps I should call Nigel Farage."

British travellers are able to visit the US Capitol Building, home of the Senate and House of Representatives, without fuss.

They can also book a tour of the Pentagon, though they are advised “to submit the British Embassy’s address instead of their home address”.

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