President Donald Trump’s long-awaited visit to the United Kingdom in London began on Monday with an inspection of the troop guards wearing bearskin hats, gunshots in the Tower of London and a snack.
The elaborate displays of hospitality did little to prevent Trump from sending insults on Twitter while descending to London.
It was an appropriate beginning for a visit full of controversy and with a great tradition, delivered by a fractured nation for a difficult guest to please.
“I think it will be very important,” Trump predicted as he left the White House on Sunday night. “It will undoubtedly be very interesting.”
In fact, the dramatic ones began even before Air Force One landed at Airport, outside of London. As he descended, the president tweeted an insult to the mayor of London and called Sadiq Khan a “loser because of the cold” for being “foolishly unpleasant” with the visiting president of the United States.
Trump and Khan have engaged in a transatlantic dispute over terrorism and security, and this week Khan called Trump “one of the most notorious examples of a growing global threat” in an opinion newspaper. Khan had suggested that Trump’s state visit should be rescinded.
It was a whirlwind of pomp, circumstance and protest for Trump, who had lunch with Queen Elizabeth and had tea with Prince Charles before a grand state dinner at Buckingham Palace. Eager to flatter Trump, the British lavished him with a show, beginning his visit with a deafening salute from royalty, while the president and first lady Melania Trump walked to the palace where a waiting queen greeted them with a smile.
With the trip already at risk of being overshadowed by the British agitation of Brexit, Trump unleashed a tirade on Twitter after a column in a newspaper in which the mayor of London said he did not deserve red carpet treatment and was “one of the most notorious examples of a growing global threat. ” “To liberal democracy from the extreme right.
“@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as mayor of London, has been foolishly unpleasant for the visiting president of the United States, the UK’s most important ally,” Trump wrote just before landing. . “He’s a loser of the cold that should focus on crime in London, not me.”
The president added that Khan reminded him of the “terrible” leader of his hometown, the mayor of the city of New York, Bill de Blasio, although “only half his height”. De Blasio, a Democrat, is a long-time candidate in the 2020 presidential race. Supporters of Khan have previously accused Trump of being racist against the first Muslim mayor of London.