What British Prime-minister, Theresa May, hoped would be a boost to US-UK relationship – an invitation to Donald Trump to pay a State visit to the UK – has turned out to be a huge embarrassment as the American president has cancelled the trip altogether.
In a classic Trump move, however, he blamed it all on Obama.
He announced on Twitter that his decision to cancel the trip, which had been seriously scaled down from a State visit to opening a new American embassy, was due to the fact that the decision to move the location of the U.S. embassy in the city was a “bad deal.”
According to a Newsweek report, he also accused the Obama Administration of selling “perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts'” even though the decision was made in October 2008 under George W. Bush.
Writing on Twitter, Trump said: “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.”
He added: “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon–No!”
When the move was announced nearly a decade ago, then-Ambassador Robert Tuttle, who had led the search for a new site had explained the move as a way to ensure a “modern, secure and environmentally sustainable Embassy.”
“This has been a long and careful process,” Tuttle said in 2008. “We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square. In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable Embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility. I’m excited about America playing a role in the regeneration of the South Bank of London.”
Further, on the embassy web page about the project, it says: “The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds.”