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Trump dishes up dose of chaos aimed at May, London

  • From left, first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and her husband Philip May, watch the arrival ceremony at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Thursday. ap photo

  • A helicopter leaves the grounds of the US ambassador residence in Regent's Park, London, while demonstrators protest against the visit of US President Donald Trump Thursday July 12, 2018. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP) Gareth Fuller

  • U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a two-day summit. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) Geert Vanden Wijngaert

  • U.S. President Donald Trump raises his hands during a press conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a two-day summit. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) Geert Vanden Wijngaert

  • U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference before departing the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

  • U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while speakings during a news conference before departing the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018. With Trump on stage are Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, behind Trump, and National security adviser John Bolton, right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

  • First lady Melania Trump, left, walks past President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and May's husband Philip May, during the arrival ceremony at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

  • From left, first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and her husband Philip May, stand during the arrival ceremony at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Pablo Martinez Monsivais



Associated Press
Thursday, July 12, 2018

BLENHEIM PALACE, England — Dishing up a fresh dose of chaos on his European tour, President Donald Trump left behind a contentious NATO gathering in Brussels and moved on to Britain, where a pomp-filled welcome ceremony at Blenheim Palace quickly was overshadowed by a newspaper interview in which Trump blasted Prime Minister Theresa May, blamed the London mayor for terror attacks against the city and argued that Europe was “losing its culture” because of immigration.

Trump, in an interview with The Sun newspaper, said he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including plans to fly a giant balloon over Parliament on Friday that depicts him as an angry baby in a diaper.

“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he said.

Trump, in the interview given before he left Brussels for the U.K., accused May of ruining what her country stands to gain from the Brexit vote to leave the European Union. He said her former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, would make an “excellent” prime minister, speaking just days after Johnson resigned his position in protest over May’s Brexit plans.

Trump added that May’s “soft” blueprint for the U.K.’s future dealings with the EU would probably “kill” any future trade deals with the United States.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump told the paper.

Trump, who has compared his own election to the June 2016 referendum in which a majority of British voters supported leaving the EU, complained that, “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on.”

He also told the tabloid that he’d shared advice with May during Britain’s negotiations with the EU and she ignored it.

Details from Trump’s interview with the paper became public as Trump was attending a black-tie dinner with May to welcome him to Britain with pomp and pageantry.

As for Johnson, Trump said: “I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he’s got what it takes. He added, “I think he is a great representative for your country.”

On Thursday night, hundreds of demonstrators chanted outside the U.S. ambassador’s residence where Trump was staying on the outskirts of London, providing a preview of the forceful protests expected on Friday.

Trump acknowledged he didn’t feel welcome in the city, and blamed that in part on Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gave protesters permission to fly the 20-foot-tall balloon depicting Trump as an angry baby.

Trump also blamed recent terrorist attacks there on Khan, who is a Muslim. The president claimed Europe is “losing its culture” because of immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a sham,” he said. “I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”

In sharp contrast to the president sharp words, Trump’s first event in England was an oasis of warm greetings at an evening reception at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill, the larger-than-life British leader cited by the president as a model of leadership. That was just one of several helicopter rides on the agenda for Trump, whose staff opted to keep him largely out of central London and the swarms of demonstrators who are likely to provide some of the defining images of his first official trip to the U.K.

Trump’s Marine One departure from the ambassador’s residence was met by jeers from demonstrators banging pots and pans, and another pack of protesters lined roads near the palace. Some of their signs read: “Dump Trump,” “Lock Him Up,” and “There Will Be Hell Toupee.” Police worked overtime, their days off cancelled.