Jan 12, 2018, 11:25 AM ET

Trump cancels trip to London, says he turned down offer to cut ribbon at new US Embassy


President Donald Trump announced the sudden cancellation of a planned trip to cut the ribbon at the new U.S. Embassy in London late Thursday, blaming the reversal on the Obama administration's decision to sell the country's old embassy for "peanuts."

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Trump had been scheduled to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new U.S. Embassy in Britain next month.

But Thursday night, just minutes before midnight, he tweeted he would not be attending, saying, "Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to visit the country during her stop at the White House in late January. She was the first foreign leader to visit the newly inaugurated Trump. May spoke to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in September and said the visit was still planned and they were just "sorting out the logistics."

A full-scale visit from Trump -- one at the invite of Queen Elizabeth -- was expected to bring protests of the U.S. president in London, but May told ABC News that was not the reason for the delay. The February trip to cut the ribbon at the embassy was expected to be scaled down.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a frequent sparring opponent for Trump, echoed that protests were the real reason Trump cancelled the visit.

"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 early Friday. "His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.

"Let’s hope that Donald Trump also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda," Khan added.

Trump told reporters in July at the G-20 summit he would be visiting London eventually.

“We'll work that out. We will be going to London. We'll be going to London,” Trump told reporters.

PHOTO: British Prime Minister Theresa May is pictured with President Donald Trump at The White House on Jan. 27, 2017 in Washington.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
British Prime Minister Theresa May is pictured with President Donald Trump at The White House on Jan. 27, 2017 in Washington.

The sale of the old embassy actually began under the George W. Bush administration. They announced in an Oct. 2, 2008 release -- a month before Barack Obama's election to his first term -- that the U.S. had entered into an agreement with real estate company Ballymore to acquire the new embassy site in southwest London and that the old site "will be offered for sale almost immediately." The sale to Qatari real estate developer Qatari Diar was completed after Obama became president in November 2009, according to The Telegraph.

The U.S. Embassy in London is funded entirely from proceeds of sale from other U.S. government property in London, according to the State Department. The State Department examined options for a costly renovation of the embassy in 2006, but that would have required an appropriation of taxpayer dollars and would not have met the most critical security needs.

Ground on the new embassy wasn't broken until 2013.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson had tweeted just last week about the ceremony lowering the flag at the old Grosvenor Square embassy in London.

Last month, Johnson, most known to Americans as the owner of the New York Jets, held a press conference and ABC News interviewed him one-on-one. He outlined what a good deal the new embassy was and said the new embassy was representative of a stronger and better U.S.-U.K. relationship.

"When you look out through the window it reflects the global outlook of the U.S. in the 21st century," Johnson said. "It's a signal to the world that this relationship will get stronger and get better. ... I'm going to do that if I can. Drop the if I can. We're going to make it stronger."

News - Trump cancels trip to London, says he turned down offer to cut ribbon at new US Embassy

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  • baruchzed

    Real reason he's not going...no one wants him there. I'm glad he isn't going because he is such an embarrassment. I do wish he'd leave the US and not return...Russia maybe?

  • AmazedHuman

    Absolutely the right decision. London is like Germany right now, being ruined and wrecked by the Muslim invasion. Not a safe place to go anyway. And since they're indulging in boorish, uncivilized behavior without respecting our magnificent president, London is proving to be as moronic as the Liberal Lunatics here in the states. Blind and ignorant, they can't recognize a president who is doing more for this nation than any we've had in a long time.

  • Linda Vee Sado

    Over 400 hundred acid attacks there alone this year. Who in their right mind wants to go to such a dangerous place now. Not to mention people hacking each other up again like it is medieval times. R.I.P England

  • My other car is a broom

    “British Muslims are making a positive contribution to their communities and their country,
    playing their part in making this a successful, diverse nation that we can all be proud of.” ~Theresa May, 2018
    *** Britain is so screwed ***

  • FarmFamily

    Trump is cancelling his trip to London because of a balloon.

  • marybearry

    everybody knows the real reason is the balloon. right on guys, no reason to spread the hatefulness send the balloon over here, maybe he'll stay out of sight and shut up

  • IndependentforFreedom

    Besides being a Neo-Nazi loving perverted predatory pathological lying, fact less, sociopathic GOP empty vessel, Trump has done nothing but violate the Constitution, break countless laws, endanger this country and enrich himself ever since he got into office. He's in violation of the emoluments clause, he's obstructed justice, he's amassed in racketeering and money laundering with Russia and other foreign enemy entities, and more and more evidence is piling up by the day with more evidence, senior adviser indictments, tell all books, connecting him to Russia and Putin. He should never have been elected in the first place. And what's even worse is the fact that the GOP is going to defend him for as long as they feel they feasibly can, simply because his sheer stupidity and insane asinine tweets make a convenient smokescreen to keep the media distracted while the Republicans loot and plunder the citizens of this country and rape its lands, all to profit themselves and their donors. Remove this Traitor and Treasonous Imposter.

  • Happytown6565

    Poor Miss Complicit this is not what she signed up for, she was looking forward to traveling the world with daddy and getting the Royal treatment.

  • Richard Griffin

    Trump shows his contempt and his obvious obsession with President Obama, when he states incorrectly that Obama was responsible for the sale of the US embassy in London, despite knowing that it was the Bush administration. Trump is a very sick man and needs to get some counselling on his obsession with Obama.

  • Don Stevens

    He's not going because he was snubbed for the royal wedding, period. Obama got an invitation & Trump didn't & he's furious. He will be stomping his feet & waving his tiny twitter hands around for weeks over this. Sad. #LyingTrump #SOBOTUS

  • Truth-B-Me

    They don't want you! Nobody wants you! Resign now and do all of America a favor!

  • Westword 70

    Is there anything, anything at all, that this ignorant jackass will not screw up?

  • Bev Guyer

    Let's review our hard-working leader's schedule since the beginning of the year: 2 week holiday in Florida, pit stop in DC for a couple days, off the Camp David for one of his 'working' weekends, back to DC to make one of the most embarrassing statements of his presidency (which says a lot), then off to Florida again. He is the human sloth.

  • Treblig56

    Actually, we just learned that Trump has been forbidden from playing with scissors, so...

  • Treblig56

    I wonder if insulting London's Mayor Khan on the very day London suffered a terrorist attack may be partly responsible for Trump's unpopularity and unwillingness to visit? Or is it his re-posting of a British Alt-right party's anti-Muslim videos - which, at least for one, were proven false - or maybe his insulting response to the British PM's rightful criticism of the re-posting?

  • Bev Guyer

    Trump is so woefully uninformed -- it was Bush, not Obama who was responsible for the selling of the old embassy and erecting a new one. Secondly, considering the recent terrorist attacks in London, the US embassy is one of the safest buildings in the world. Money well spent.

  • paul miller

    Trump should be added to the no flight list, the rest of the world would be grateful.

  • Karolyn Lapka

    NUTS. What a phony excuse. There would be a slew of protestors (rightly so) and he know he would be unflatteringly compared to dignified and poised Obama and family.