President Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that he had canceled an upcoming trip to London, but his tweeted reason conflicted with reports it was due to fears of mass protests.
Rather, Trump said it was because of the "off location" of the new U.S. embassy there and lack of desire to "cut [the] ribbon" on its opening.
"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!" Trump wrote.
The initial plans for a formal state visit by Trump, who was invited shortly after being inaugurated by Prime Minister Theresa May, were scuttled amid activist plans to stage mass protests, The Guardian reports .
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee wrote Trump's account regarding the Obama administration was not true, saying the decision to move the embassy was made in 2008 when George W. Bush was in office.
This is factually incorrect. Decision to move embassy was made in 2008. And, Grosvenor Square site had numerous uncorrectable security issues. https://t.co/7RUPcHwsI9
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) January 12, 2018
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was a mistake for May to have invited Trump in the first place.
"Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he’s finally got that message," Khan tweeted.
Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he’s finally got that message. pic.twitter.com/YD0ZHuWtr3
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 12, 2018