June 03, 2019
United States president poses challenges as he berates Khan while Corbyn prepares to address protest

Donald Trump breezed into Britain by launching an attack on London’s mayor and berating so-called fake news before he landed on the Queen’s back lawn for the start of his controversial three-day state visit.
Shortly before Air Force One touched down at Stansted airport, the US president heralded his arrival with a Twitter tirade against old adversary Sadiq Khan, condemning the mayor as a “stone cold loser”, comments the mayor’s office later rebuffed as “childish insults”.
However, by the time the president’s helicopter, Marine One, landed at Buckingham Palace for his long-desired ceremonial visit, he was wreathed in smiles, with his arrival marked by two 41-gun salutes, a guard of honour and a white-tie-and-tiara banquet.
There was even a wall: the high one that encloses Buckingham Palace gardens served to keep Trump, only the third US president to be honoured with a state visit, away from the public and protests. Security concerns meant there was no carriage ride, and therefore no risk of a repeat of the welcome accorded China’s president, Xi Jinping, who ran the gauntlet of mass protests along the Mall.
More than 250,000 protesters are expected to take to London’s streets in protests against Trump on Tuesday, when the Trump baby blimp is expected to appear once again. On Monday, as the Queen prepared to host Donald Trump for a state banquet, more than 100 protesters demonstrated outside the gates of Buckingham Palace against the US president being handed “the red-carpet treatment”.
Donald Trump meets the Queen at start of UK state visit
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who will address the protesters in London on Tuesday, tweeted: “Tomorrow’s protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country – including, just this morning, @SadiqKhan”.
The state visit, which is the 113th hosted by the Queen, saw a meeting between two dynasties, one ancient, one fledgling, as Trump combined the official visit with a family jaunt.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, a presidential adviser, watched from a palace balcony as the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were warmly greeted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on the palace lawn, with Trump holding on to Prince Charles’s hand for 10 seconds.
The president, who is understood to have also brought his sons Donald Jr and Eric, and his daughter Tiffany on the trip, was then officially welcomed by the Queen on the palace steps. The two shared a slightly awkward half handshake.
Accompanied by Charles, and to a medley of American service tunes played by the band of the Grenadier Guards, Trump then inspected the guard of honour by the Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards. The first couple later joined the Queen, Charles and Camilla, Prince Harry and other royals for a private lunch, also attended by Ivanka and Kushner.
As is usual, gifts were exchanged, though it transpired gifts were not Trump’s forte. The Queen presented him with a first edition of The Second World War by Winston Churchill and a three-piece pen set bearing the royal cypher.
But on a tour of Royal Collection artefacts in the palace’s picture gallery, Trump was also shown the pewter horse he gave the Queen on his last visit. Asked if he recognised it, he replied “no” , at which point Melania jumped in, saying: “Yes, this is one of ours.” Trump did better when he was shown a book of tartans opened at the yellow design of his Scottish Hebridean mother’s MacLeod clan. “That’s my tartan,” he said immediately.
Donald Trump meets the Queen at start of UK state visit
The presidential plane was met at Stansted by the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Even as it was taxiing in, Trump was launching his broadside against Khan, who has criticised Britain rolling out the red carpet for the visit.
The president tweeted: “Sadiq Khan, 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”.
The president then appeared to use some downtime at the US ambassador’s residence to indulge another favourite pastime, venting his anger on Twitter on the topics of “fake news”, China, and the US broadcaster CNN. “Just arrived in the United Kingdom. The only problem is that CNN is the primary source of news available from the US,” he tweeted before condemning it as “All negative & so much Fake News”.
In the evening, he tweeted: “London part of trip is going really well. The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic. The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong. Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our Country.
“Haven’t seen any protests yet, but I’m sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them. Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once UK gets rid of the shackles.”
The state visit is an upgrade on his previous “working visit”, where he had tea with the Queen. Around 170 guests, with cultural, diplomatic and economic links with the US, will join the first couple and senior royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in the grand ballroom at Buckingham Palace to dine off the silver gilt of the Grand Service made for George IV. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Vince Cable, both declined to attend.
Hastily offered by Theresa May after Trump’s inauguration, the visit brings down the curtain on her troubled premiership. Trump was vocal ahead of his visit in criticising her handling of Brexit.
Given both, there was no surprise when it emerged on Monday that there would be no formal one-to-one between the president and the prime minister during the visit. Instead, the two will meet alongside their aides on Tuesday. Asked whether the president had preferred to hold a one-to-one meeting, May’s spokesman said: “I’m sure the answer to that is no.”
Waving banners emblazoned with messages declaring the president was “evil”, scores of protesters blowing whistles and horns massed on a green outside the palace.
Demonstrators, many of who were clutching signs urging people to “just say no” to the special relationship, chanted: “Donald Trump’s not welcome here.”
Outside Buckingham Palace, Weyman Bennett, 54, the co-convenor of Stand up to Racism, who helped organise the protest, said the state visit represented “an insult to people’s basic decent values” and should have been cancelled.
“Sometimes you have to say to a bully they’re wrong and stand up for basic rights. He’s threatened nuclear war, he’s behaved like a boorish idiot, he doesn’t even respect basic diplomatic values.”
Donald Trump meets the Queen at start of UK state visit
Before the banquet, the Trumps took tea at Clarence House with Charles and Camilla, and laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, accompanied by the Duke of York.
Given the 75th anniversary of D-day on Thursday, Trump’s visit culminates on Wednesday, when he will join the Queen during commemorations in Portsmouth. He will also be escorted by May on a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms, from which Winston Churchill directed British forces during the second world war.
Donald Trump meets the Queen at start of UK state visit

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