Late Thursday night, President Donald Trump attempted to explain his decision to cancel his trip to London to open the United States’ new embassy.
“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,” he wrote. “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The embassy relocation has been a decade in the making, with the Bush administration—not the Obama administration, as Trump tweeted—making the decision to move it from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms in 2008. At the time of the decision, officials said “it would have been impossible to retrofit the aging building with the security measures needed,” according to CNN. Builders broke ground at the new location in November of 2013.
The State Department did agree to sell the building back in 2009, when Obama was in office
Trump’s visit to the U.K. had not been confirmed, but was expected to take place next month, marking his first presidential trip to the country.
Even before his embassy tweet, many Londoners protested the president’s visit. On Friday morning, Mayor Sadiq Khan posted a note on Twitter affirming that sentiment and condemning Prime Minister Theresa May for hastily inviting Trump to visit the country in the first place.
“It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance,” Khan wrote. “This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”
Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he’s finally got that message. pic.twitter.com/YD0ZHuWtr3— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 12, 2018
In closing, Khan wrote, “Let’s hope that Donald Trump also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda.”