Trump Calls Off London Visit, Blames Obama

He says embassy sale was a 'bad deal'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2018 1:49 AM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2018 6:34 AM CST
A general view of the exterior of the new United States embassy building during a press preview near the River Thames in London, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)
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(Newser) – President Trump says he has scrapped plans to visit London—and it's former President Obama's fault. In a tweet late Thursday, Trump said he will not be unveiling the new American embassy in the city because his predecessor made a "bad deal," reports Reuters. "Reason I canceled 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," Trump said. "Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" The embassy website, however, announced the move from central London's Grosvenor Square in October 2008, months before Obama took office.

During the George W. Bush administration, officials said that the embassy was being moved for security reasons. Officials say the new embassy was funded out of the sale of other properties in London, including the old embassy. Hours before Trump's tweet, the Guardian reported that Trump had called off his visit to the UK out of fear of mass protests. Activists had vowed to protest Trump's trip to London, and British politicians urged Prime Minister Theresa May's government to call it off after Trump tweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group late last year. CBS News reports that shortly before Trump's Thursday night tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied reports that the visit had been scrapped. "The invitation was made and we accepted," she said. "We are still finalizing dates for the state visit." (Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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