Donald Trump balloon: Museum of London wants baby blimp as exhibit – BBC News

Donald Trump balloon: Museum of London wants baby blimp as exhibit - BBC News
Trump begins visit reigniting feud with London mayor
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Britain on Monday for a largely ceremonial visit meant to strengthen ties between the two nations, but the trip was immediately at risk of being overshadowed by Brexit turmoil and a political feud with London’s mayor.

Even before Air Force One touched down north of London, Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade against London Mayor Sadiq Khan, leader of the world city where Trump will stay for two nights while partaking in a state visit full of pomp and circumstance.

“@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me,” Trump wrote on Twitter as Air Force One was about to land in Britain. “Kahn [sic] reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!”

The move came after a newspaper column in which Khan said Trump did not deserve red-carpet treatment in Britain and was “one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” from the far-right to liberal democracy.

“@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom,” Trump wrote just before landing. “He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.

The protests risk taking more of the shine off the so-called special relationship between the two allies. Last July, Trump told The Sun newspaper that while he used to love London, the balloon and the protests — organizers estimated 250,000 people took to the streets — didn’t make him “feel welcome.”

What is a state visit and how is it different from other presidential visits?

[email protected], who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly nasty to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me……

Donald Trump UK visit: President and First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, Charles and Camilla

….Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!

“This is about sending a strong message that people in the U.K. don’t accept the divisive right-wing policies that Trump stands for, and that inviting him for a state visit is totally inappropriate,” the Stop Trump Coalition said in a statement. Another group, Stand Up To Trump, is also organizing the protests.

The president then added a few warm words for his hosts, tweeting that he was looking forward “to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit.”

“Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat,” he wrote. “The far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than seventy years.”

The Trumps then boarded Marine One, the presidential helicopter, for the trip from Stansted Airport to the centre of Britain’s capital.

The agenda for Trump’s weeklong journey is mostly ceremonial: a state visit and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II in London, D-Day commemoration ceremonies on both sides of the English Channel and his first presidential visit to Ireland, which will include a stay at his coastal golf club.

Later on Monday, Trump is scheduled to attend an official welcome ceremony and private lunch with the queen, followed by a tour of Westminster Abbey, tea with the Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and an evening banquet at Buckingham Palace with the queen and other members of the British elite.

But the U.S. president will arrive at a precarious moment, as he faces a fresh round of impeachment fervour back home and uncertainty on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced months of political turmoil over Brexit and French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to use the 75th anniversary of the World War II battle that turned the tide on the Western Front to call for strengthening the multinational ties the U.S. president has frayed.

….Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!

A year ago, Trump also took aim at his hosts before landing on English soil, blasting May in an interview just hours she hosted him for dinner. Though he has spared May so far this time, he has praised her rival, prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson, just days before May steps down as Conservative leader on Friday for failing to secure a Brexit deal.

“I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent,” Trump told The Sun. “I like him. I have always liked him. I don’t know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person.”

It was not clear if the Trump endorsement would hurt or help Johnson’s chances of becoming Britain’s next leader.

He also told the Sunday Times that Britain should “walk away” from Brexit talks and refuse to pay a 39 billion pound ($49 billion) divorce bill if it doesn’t get better terms from the European Union. He said he might meet with another pro-Brexit politician, Nigel Farage, and claimed Farage should be given a role in the Brexit negotiations.

Johnson said the Trump administration was looking forward to signing a U.S.-British trade deal — though in the past Johnson warned that the exit deal with the E.U. May tried to pass through parliament could threaten an agreement with Washington.

After lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, Trump will be honoured at extravagant state dinner at Buckingham Palace. Demonstrators are expected, including the possible return of an inflatable balloon depicting the president as a baby.

“When I last spoke to him he was extremely enthusiastic. The president’s mother was born here and this is part of his DNA. Everything he is about revolves around this relationship. It could not be more important,” Johnson said

And even some of the pageantry could have awkward moments. The formal tea hosted by Prince Charles brings together a future king who has warned repeatedly about the perils of climate change with a president who is actively dismantling U.S. policies designed to slow global warming.

More controversial, Johnson said on Sunday that a future trade deal with the United States would include British health care, specifically the oft-complained-about but much beloved social medicine program called the National Health Service.

In an interview with The Sun, Trump weighed in on the American-born Duchess of Sussex. The former Meghan Markle, who gave birth to a son in May and will not attend the week’s events, was critical of Trump in the past, prompting the president to tell the tabloid, “I didn’t know that she was nasty.”

“He knows the security and prosperity of the U.S. is directly linked to the security and prosperity of the U.K. The special relationship will be a huge focus as we remember D-Day,” Johnson told the BBC.

Trump said later that he thought Markle would be “very good” as a royal and claimed that he only meant her comments were “nasty.”

While in Japan last month, Trump used the words of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to attack another rival, former vice president Joe Biden — calling him a “low I.Q. individual.”

Trump will also make his first presidential visit to Ireland on Wednesday. Trump will spend two nights at his golf club in Doonbeg, which sits above the Atlantic. After Dublin balked at holding a meeting there, a deal was struck for Trump to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at Shannon Airport.

The centerpiece of the president’s visit will be two days to mark the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day anniversary, likely the last significant commemoration most veterans of the battle will see. The anniversary events will begin in Portsmouth, England, where the invasion was launched, and then move to Normandy, France, where Allied forces began to recapture Western Europe from the Nazis.

Typically, a state visit includes a few nights bunking with the monarch at Buckingham Palace in central London. But Trump will not be staying there, as the palace is undergoing renovations.

The day is normally a heartfelt tribute to unity and sacrifice, outweighing any national or political skirmish. But some on both sides of the Atlantic are nervous about Trump, who has shown a willingness to inject partisanship into such moments.

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to pack London’s Trafalgar Square. A blimp showing Trump as a diaper-clad baby will take flight and hover above the scene.

“My greatest hope is this: the president and all the leaders stay focused on the extraordinary heroism of that of D-Day and focusing on what brought allies to that position,” said Heather Conley, senior vice-president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Dark clouds are forming once again in Europe, and rather than encourage those forces, we need to find much better tools to defeat them.”

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On his most recent European visit, last November in France, Trump was heavily criticized for skipping a ceremony at an American military cemetery to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I when rain grounded his helicopter. European leaders, meanwhile, stood in the rain to honour the dead.

LONDON — Mixing pageantry and political pugilism, U.S. President Donald Trump opened a state visit to Britain on Monday by drawing a smile from Queen Elizabeth II and stepping up a long-running feud with Londons anti-Trump mayor before his plane had touched down on English soil.

Trump and his wife, Melania, flew by helicopter to Buckingham Palace, landing on a lawn where Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, greeted them. They received a deafening royal gun salute as they walked to the palace where a waiting queen smiled at the president.

Those were the images sought by a White House eager to showcase Trump as a statesman while, back home, the race to replace him — and talk of impeaching him — heated up. Yet Trump, forever a counter-puncher, immediately roiled diplomatic docility by tearing into London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

With the trip already at risk of being overshadowed by Brexit turmoil, Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade after a newspaper column in which Khan said Trump did not deserve red-carpet treatment and was "one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat" from the far-right to liberal democracy.

"@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly "nasty" to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom," Trump wrote just before landing. "He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me."

The president added that Khan reminded him of the "terrible" leader of his hometown, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio though "only half his height." De Blasio, a Democrat, is a longshot candidate in the 2020 presidential race. Khan supporters have previously accused Trump of being racist against Londons first Muslim mayor.

The president then added warm words for his hosts, tweeting that he looked forward "to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit."

The agenda for Trumps weeklong journey is mostly ceremonial: a state visit and audience with the queen, D-Day commemoration ceremonies on both sides of the English Channel and his first presidential visit to Ireland, which will include a stay at his coastal golf club.

During the palace welcome ceremony, Trump and Prince Charles inspected the Guard of Honor formed by the Grenadier Guards wearing the traditional bearskin hats. Royal gun salutes were fired from nearby Green Park and from the Tower of London as part of the pageantry accompanying an official state visit, one of the highest honours Britain can bestow on a foreign leader.

But the U.S. president arrived at a precarious moment. He faces a fresh round of impeachment fervour back home and uncertainty on the other side of the Atlantic. British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced months of political turmoil over Brexit and French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to use the 75th anniversary of the World War II battle that turned the tide on the Western Front to call for strengthening multinational ties the U.S. president has frayed.

A year ago, Trump also took aim at his hosts before landing on English soil, blasting May in an interview hours before she hosted him for dinner. Though he has spared May so far this time, he has praised her rival, prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson, just days before May steps down as Conservative leader on Friday for failing to secure a Brexit deal.

"I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent," Trump told The Sun. "I like him. I have always liked him. I dont know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person."

It was not clear if the Trump endorsement would hurt or help Johnsons chances of becoming prime minister. Trump said he may meet with Johnson this week.

Never shy about weighing in on other countries affairs, Trump also told the Sunday Times that Britain should "walk away" from Brexit talks and refuse to pay a 39 billion pound ($49 billion) divorce bill if it doesnt get better terms from the European Union. He said he might meet with another pro-Brexit politician, Nigel Farage, and claimed Farage should be given a role in the Brexit negotiations.

After lunch with the queen, Trump was shown parts of the collection at Buckingham Palace, including an 18th-century map of New York, historic photos of golf at St. Andrews and books about birds and George Washington. Westminster Abbey was next, with a tour and moment of silence at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

He will be honoured later Monday at an extravagant state dinner at the Palace. Demonstrators are expected, including the possible return of a balloon depicting the president as a baby.

Even some of the pageantry could produce awkward moments. The formal tea hosted by Prince Charles brings together a future king who has warned repeatedly about the perils of climate change and a president who is actively dismantling U.S. policies designed to slow global warming.

In an interview with The Sun, Trump weighed in on the American-born Duchess of Sussex. The former Meghan Markle, who gave birth to a son in May and will not attend the weeks events, was critical of Trump in the past, prompting the president to tell the tabloid, "I didnt know that she was nasty."

Trump said later he thought Markle would be "very good" as a royal and claimed he only meant her comments were "nasty."

Trump will also make his first presidential visit to Ireland on Wednesday, spending two nights at his golf club in Doonbeg, which sits above the Atlantic. After Dublin balked at holding a meeting there, a deal was struck for Trump to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the VIP lounge at Shannon Airport, hardly the grand setting usually afforded a meeting of world leaders.

The centerpiece of the presidents visit will be two days to mark the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944, D-Day anniversary, likely the last significant commemoration most veterans of the battle will see. The anniversary events will begin in Portsmouth, England, where the invasion was launched, and then move to Normandy, France, where Allied forces began to recapture Western Europe from the Nazis.

The day is normally a heartfelt tribute to unity and sacrifice, outweighing any national or political skirmish. But some on both sides of the Atlantic are nervous about Trump, who has shown a willingness to inject partisanship into such moments.

Additional reporting by Darlene Superville and Deb Riechmann in Washington and Gregory Katz in London

….Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!

Queen Elizabeth II stands with President Donald Trump, center, and first lady Melania Trump, left, Britains Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, right, during a ceremonial welcome in the garden of Buckingham Palace in London, Monday, June 3, 2019 on the opening day of a three day state visit to Britain. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

President Donald Trump salutes an honor guard as he and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport in England, Monday, June 3, 2019 at the start of a three day state visit to Britain. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

FILE – In this Friday, July 13, 2018 file photo, a six-meter high cartoon baby blimp of U.S. President Donald Trump is flown as a protest against his visit, in Parliament Square in London, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)