Trump blames Obama's 'bad deal' for cancelling his trip to Britain: President pulls out of US embassy opening because old site was 'sold for peanuts' - but the move began under BUSH
- President Trump was expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office
- But Trump says he nixed the idea because of concerns about the embassy Blamed President Obama for a 'bad deal'
- The decision to move the embassy was made in 2008 British officials were bein told the president has gone cold on a visit
- Trump was not in line to get a royal reception
- Large protests expected London mayor Sadiq Khan said Trump 'got the message' that Londoners oppose his policies
- One member of Parliament said Britain is 'not a big fan of his racist, sexist, unthinking behavior'
- Prime Minister Teresa May's office said 'strong and deep' partnership between UK and US 'will endure'
President Donald Trump said he had cancelled his trip to London out of concerns about a 'bad deal' for the new U.S. embassy building he was to officially open there –and blaming it on his predecessor Barack Obama.
The decision to relocate to a new embassy was inked in 2008 during the administration of George W. Bush. Officials cited security concerns.
'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 wrote on Twitter. 'Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!'
The president condemned Obama on Twitter for selling the old site on Grosvenor Square in London's exclusive Mayfair district 'for peanuts'.
Trump tweeted shortly before midnight to criticize the move to an 'off location' at Nine Elms, south of the River Thames, as a 'bad deal'.
Donald Trump has scrapped plans to visit Britain next month, the Mail understands. Government sources have been told the president has gone cold on the idea
Trump took to Twitter Thursday saying the 'real' reason why he canceled was because the Obama administration 'sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London'
The United States Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, UK is pictured is this undated photo
Exterior view of the new United States Embassy in London, England is shown on December 15, 2017. At a cost of over £750 million, the new embassy is the most expensive in the world
At the time the government decided to relocate its historic embassy, officials said it wasn't possibly to retrofit the existing facility.
The government undertook global efforts to upgrade security at its embassies following embassy bombings and an increase in worldwide threats after Sep. 11.
Trump's tweet, which followed the Daily Mail exclusively revealing last night that the trip to London would be called off, sparked an overwhelming backlash on social media in Britain.
'We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square,' then-Ambassador Robert Tuttle said, CNN reported.
'In the end, we realized that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility,' he added.
Trump was previously expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office, but British officials were newly informed he went cold on the idea.
A new date has not been offered, raising the prospect of a major diplomatic snub. One senior source told the Mail that Mr Trump – who was expected to officially open the new US embassy in London – had cancelled because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit.
The reversal comes despite Mr Trump telling Theresa May last month that he would come to Britain in the New Year.
Preparations were advanced for a 'working' visit to officially open the embassy, but the Mail understands this role will now be performed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Mr Trump was also scheduled to hold talks with Mrs May in No 10, with February 26 and 27 marked in the diary. Downing Street had hoped to confirm the dates this week.
Taunting: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling appear to be calling the President 'chicken'
Disinvited: Ed Miliband, former leader of the Labour party - currently the UK's second biggest party - tweeted that Trump was not wanted in London and that the President knew this
Not welcome: Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said citizens had 'made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome'
Another view: UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused the London Mayor and current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of putting the US-UK relationship at risk by encouraging people to protest if Trump came to town
Is Trump right to call it a ‘bad deal’? Property experts say the US have ‘sold the family silver’ after selling the old embassy for $680m and buying new one for $1bn
As a New York real estate mogul and high-end hotel owner, Donald Trump should be speaking from a position of experience when he calls the new US Embassy a ‘bad deal’.
The President claimed ‘the Obama Administration 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.’
At a cost of $1bn (£750m) the new embassy near Battersea is priced significantly higher than the $680m (£500m) it is thought the old embassy in Mayfair was sold for.
In with the new: The new US Embassy in Nine Elms, in south London, which is due to open for business on January 16
Standing in London's Grosvenor Square, it was bought by Qatari Diar – the property development arm of the Qatari royal family – for an undisclosed sum in 2009.
At the time, experts had valued the site at £500m.
It may never be known how much it was actually sold for because the US sold the lease not the land - which is owned by the Duke of Westminster. The details do not need to recorded with the Land Registry.
Shortly before the sale, the old embassy was given Grade II listed status, which may have reduced the value further as this would restrict any development.
The Qataris will now spend $1.4bn (£1.08bn) to refurbish the building and turn it into a five-star Rosewood hotel with 137 bedrooms.
The new US Embassy is a cube-shaped building, located in Nine Elms between Vauxhall and Battersea in south-west London.
Christian Warman, director of central London estate agency Tedworth Property, states that US may have 'sold the family silver' - but that they had sold high and bought low.
'Grosvenor Square is one of London's finest addresses and the embassy was very prominent and hugely well connected to businesses and professionals who live and work in the area,' Mr Warman told MailOnline.
'In terms of whether the Americans have sold the family silver; yes Mayfair is always going to be a prime hub of London, but it's not unthinkable that Nine Elms will be considered prime central London in ten, 20 or 50 years, so you could argue that it's a good deal for America.
He got there after all! Famous wax works museum Madame Tussauds transported their figure of Trump to the new embassy after the cancellation of the trip
Star spangled: Marines salute as they raise the American flag at the new US embassy in London for the first time
Several high profile politicians in the UK took to Twitter to comment on the cancellation of the trip, with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, saying citizens had 'made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome'.
Even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling had her say on Twitter, posting a poultry emoji which she appeared to have used to illustrate calling the President 'chicken'.
A source told the Daily Mail that the lack of 'bells and whistles' and royal involvement next month visit may have discouraged Trump.
Mr Trump has previously expressed concern about the likelihood of mass protests. Last year he told Mrs May he did not want to go ahead with a visit until the British public supported it.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appeared to allude to these promised protests on Twitter, where he accused the London Mayor and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of putting the US-UK relationship at risk by encouraging anti-Trump demonstrations.
The Prime Minister and the President clashed in November when she criticised his decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim propaganda from a far-Right group, Britain First. In a rare public rebuke, she said: 'I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.'
Mr Trump hit back on Twitter, saying: 'Don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.' He added: 'We are doing just fine!'
'Reason I cancelled my trip to London is... ' Brits take to Twitter to mock Trump's UK no show
Social media users have poked fun at Donald Trump's 'rubbish excuse' for cancelling his trip to London by offering their own amusing reasons for the no-show.
Twitter users, believed to all be living in the UK, replied in hilarious fashion to Trump's tweet which announced the news.
Some made predictable jibes about border walls, while others joked about the fact that neither they, nor Trump, would be invited to the Royal Wedding.
Hilarious tweets mocking the President's excuse flooded Twitter, with users coming up with their own silly reasons online
President Trump, pictured here with his wife Melania, could have cancelled the trip because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit
The abrupt reversal comes despite Mr Trump telling Theresa May in a phone call last month that he would visit Britain in the New Year
President Trump clashed with Mrs May in November when she criticised his decision to re-tweet anti-Muslim propaganda from a far-Right group, Britain First
They clashed again when Mrs May criticised his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calling it 'unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region'.
However, following a phone call between the pair on December 19, officials were bullish about the visit taking place. Their conversation was described as 'genial'.
The prospect of mass protests were raised last month after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged his followers to turn out in force if Mr Trump visited the UK to send him a 'clear message'. More than a million people signed a petition last year calling for the state visit to be cancelled.
Officials have already moved into the £750 million US embassy near Battersea Power Station in south London. An official opening involving the two leaders would have dispelled any concerns about the 'special relationship' between Britain and the US, and boosted hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal.
Mr Trump was due to officially open the new US embassy in London (pictured). The Mail understands this role will now be performed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
The prospect of mass protests during any visit were raised last month after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged his followers to turn out in force if Mr Trump visited the UK
Countries Trump WILL visit
President Trump took part in a high-profile 24-hour visit to France that was topped off with a military parade on Bastille Day
The President was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers at King Khalid International Airport in the capital Riyadh. As he arrived, he was flanked by horsemen carrying Saudi and American flags. He even held King Salman's hand as he was welcomed by the Saudi Royal Court.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara welcomed the President and First Lady Melania to their 'palace'. Mr Netanyahu said they had the house painted especially for the visit, and he gave the Trumps a 150-year-old bottle of wine as a gift.
Mr Trump's 24-hour visit was topped off with a military parade on Bastille Day. Mr Trump, who was guest of honour at the celebrations, enthusiastically applauded the soldiers and tanks on the Champs Elysees. He later shared a 29-second handshake with French president Emmanuel Macron.
An enthusiastic reception as people were bussed in to Warsaw and chanted 'Donald Trump' throughout his speech.
The reception was not as warm, with protesters lining the streets as the President attended the G20 summit.
Mr Trump was welcomed with an elaborate palace ceremony and a round of golf with one of the country's champion players.
President Moon Jae-in repeatedly invoked Mr Trump's campaign slogan by saying he was 'making America great again'.
President Xi Jinping personally showed Mr Trump around the Imperial Palace.
Last night, Downing Street refused to comment. A spokesman said: 'An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted.'
The US embassy said no firm date had been announced and suggested the President was still expected this year. On Tuesday, the White House confirmed Mr Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. The event, from January 23 to 26, brings together the world's economic and political elites.
Mr Trump has been battling the fallout from a highly critical book. He tried to ban Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, but it soared to the top of the bestseller lists. The book claimed officials around the President questioned his 'intelligence and fitness for office'.
In the Commons this week, Labour frontbencher Liz McInnes urged the Government to withdraw the invitation for a state visit, calling it 'wretched'. She said it should be scrapped to 'save Her Majesty from that unpleasant-sounding ordeal'.
But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: 'I think Her Majesty the Queen is well capable of taking this American President, or indeed any American President, in her stride.'
On Thursday alone, Mr Trump made several foreign policy blunders, as the Washington Post reported that he insulted immigrants coming into the U.S. from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
'Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?' Mr Trump said.
He also gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal where he made confusing remarks about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
'I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,' Mr Trump said, after months of taunting him with the nickname 'Little Rocket Man.'
The American president has had a number of foreign policy stumbles throughout his first year in office.
In May, Mr Trump memorably shoved aside the leader of Montenegro during a NATO summit, pushing his way to the front of a photo-op.
He's confused facts, suggesting Korea used to be part of China, when it was not. He's conflated the identities of Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III.
Member of Trump's White House team haven't made things better, misspelling Prime Minister May's first name three times – by dropping the 'H' – on the official schedule of her January 2017 visit.
This week, White House messed up the spelling of Norway as the country's prime minister was heading to Washington, D.C.
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