US president Donald Trump has been in the UK for less than 24 hours, but he's managed to rile up certain sections of the British public even more than usual. In an interview with The Sun, published on Thursday night, he made several controversial remarks laying into the country, its politics and its people.
Theresa May's Brexit plan, he said, would "probably kill" any future trade deal with the US, because it's "a much different deal than the one the people voted on"; he slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for doing "a very bad job on terrorism” and crime, and letting too many migrants in to the city; he claimed Europe is "losing [its] culture" because of immigration; that Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary this week to ample criticism, would make "a great prime minister"; and that "the people of the UK agree with [him]". All that in a single interview.
After touching down with FLOTUS Melania Trump at Stansted Airport at 2pm on Thursday, the pair attended a black-tie dinner hosted by Theresa May at Blenheim Palace with 150 business leaders. Protesters outside the palace described him as an "orange chicken" and warned him to "not comb over her again".
Photos from the red carpet outside the event show Trump and May holding hands – a nauseatingly awkward scene that has caused controversy (and repulsion) among many British people before.
PM Theresa May holding hands with racist and sexist US President @realDonaldTrump on #TrumpUKVisit.— benfolley (@benfolley) July 12, 2018
Not only diminishes herself but shames the UK.
Join the #TogetherAgainstTrump protests. pic.twitter.com/FfxZFgbrJO
Many people on Twitter drew astute parallels between Trump and Melania's outfits and Beauty and the Beast.
Didn’t realise it was a Disney themed dinner? Kudos on the Beauty and the Beast outfits though. https://t.co/LsbXQpD006— Mollie Goodfellow (@hansmollman) July 12, 2018
Afraid to say though that I like Theresa May’s dress, even though it’s basically a bridesmaid’s dress when they’re allowed to pick their own styles but designated a colour, & v appropriate that Melania, married to Trump, is dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast pic.twitter.com/uXwT5D8sAd— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) July 12, 2018
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is also less than pleased about the president's arrival. He posted a video on Twitter on Friday morning attacking both the president and Theresa May for welcoming him so warmly.
Theresa May has invited President Trump to our country at a time when his dangerous and inhumane policies are putting the lives and wellbeing of millions of people at risk. #TrumpUKVisit pic.twitter.com/69HdBTzkji— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 13, 2018
Labour MP Yvette Cooper tweeted her disappointment with the PM, while Emily Thornberry, speaking on a LBC said Trump's comments on The Mayor of London were Islamophobic and racist."
Trump’s appalling behaviour makes me sympathise with Theresa May. Til I remember her desperate rush to invite him, her repeated reluctance to criticise his Muslim ban or caging of children, her chasing him for a bad trade deal.... For God’s sake Theresa, stand up to him today.— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) July 13, 2018
Love Actually was also trending on Twitter this morning, with the British public urging May to channel Hugh Grant’s prime minister character with a rousing speech in response to his damning Sun interview.
A lot of Brits waking up this morning to Trump’s Sun interview and hoping Theresa May steals a few lines from Hugh Grant in Love Actually, calling the American president a bully and then doing this... pic.twitter.com/NdEqbiG3Qs— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 13, 2018
Theresa May has seen Love Actually, right? There's one way to deal with an American president who pulls this crap on your soil.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 12, 2018
In his Sun interview Trump also revealed he had been told about the much-anticipated 20ft "Trump baby" balloon, which was inflated in Parliament Square this morning. He admitted he "feels unwelcome" in the capital but insisted that many British people are "delighted" about his visit and “love the president of the United States”. Ok then.
The Crooked Rigged System threw everything it could at Me. But I am the most successful baby at everything I do (unparalleled) - I told you I would fly and here I am! !! pic.twitter.com/1CydN5B0RQ— Trump Baby (@TrumpBabyUK) July 13, 2018
The best thing about the ridiculous Trump balloon isn't the protest itself, its how much its pissing off the right people. The same people who routinely say people are too offended these days, are losing their shit, over a floating bag of air.— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) July 13, 2018
Some Americans have even asked to borrow it after us.
The biggest protests against Trump will take place this afternoon and into the evening, photos taken in the run-up and posted on social media suggest that the signage will be cutting, pun-tastic and unmistakably British.
Some referred to the ongoing campaign to get Green Day's "American Idiot" to the top of the UK singles charts in protest.
On Friday morning Trump joined May for a counter-terrorism demonstration by UK and US special forces at Sandhurst, and this afternoon he will have talks with the PM and the new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, at her Chequers country retreat. He will spend this weekend playing golf in Scotland at one of his own resorts and staying in the Trump Turnberry hotel.
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