WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday evening that he will not be visiting London next month due to his dissatisfaction with the “bad deal” the Obama administration agreed to over the next location for the U.S. 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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The trip, which was not officially on the books, would have been Trump’s first visit to the United Kingdom as president.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan cast doubt on Trump’s claim that his decision was due to a grievance against the embassy, instead suggesting that it was over concerns that the president would be met with massive protests.
“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 said in a statement.
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
Khan added that it was a “mistake” for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to have invited the president in the first place.
The mayor is not the only British politician at odds with Trump.
After the president retweeted several videos from a far-right U.K. fringe party last November, members of the nation’s parliament roundly scorned Trump and raised the prospect of cancelling his visit.
The decision to move the U.S. embassy in London’s exclusive Mayfair neighborhood was initially decided under George W. Bush’s tenure due to security reasons.
The sale, which Bloomberg News notes occurred “at the bottom of the last property bust,” was overseen by President Barack Obama. The sales price was not publicly disclosed but local media reported the old building was sold for £500m ($680 million).