President Donald Trump has done and said quite a few things on his trip to London this week, and one thing he said in particular has drawn the ire of the Irish in particular. Trump seems to believe that Ireland is part of the U.K. Almost immediately the statement drew harsh criticisms not only from the Irish, but from Americans as well, including sitting politicians. His statement was characterized as “embarrassing” for not knowing something that is considered to be basic knowledge for a world leader.
Trump’s visit has been widely criticized, and has drawn around an estimated 250,000 protesters against him. Londoners have gone so far to voice their displeasure with his visit as to make Green Day’s album, American Idiot, the top selling album in the U.K. right now. In light of this, Trump went out of his way to continue tweeting and telling the press how much he is loved in London, as reported by Joe, and that protesters don’t bother him. Regardless of how much he downplays concerns over his reception anywhere he goes on his visit, warm welcomes are few and far between and it appears by some accounts that Trump might be a little rattled by it all. That all still doesn’t explain his comment that appeared in The Irish Post, on Ireland that occurred prior to leaving.
“I believe that the people in the UK — Scotland, Ireland, as you know I have property in Ireland, I have property all over — I think that those people they like me a lot and they agree with me on immigration.”
David Davis, the former U.K. Brexit Minister, made a similar mistake in 2016, and while he was roasted for it, it didn’t draw as much attention as Trump’s gaffe. Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston stated to the Irish Times that Trump seemed determined to insult Teresa May. Others chimed in that he seemed to be trying to insult everyone, pointing to the previous statement as just one example of it. Even U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle chimed in.
Last year, the House of Commons tried to preemptively block Trump from being allowed to speak in parliament’s chamber over allegations of racism and sexism. Despite majority support for the initiative, John Bercoq, the Speaker of the House of Commons, vetoed the measure. Trump met today with May, and also separately with the queen at Windsor Castle.
Labour MP Anna Turley questioned whether Trump should be allowed to meet the queen on this visit given his behavior. Others questioned his lack of preparation for the visit, again, pointing back, in part, to the Ireland comment. All told, the trip has not gone well in the eyes of America’s cousins across the pond.