Donald Trump is both not worthy of a state visit to England and not “in the same class” as Barack Obama, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said this week.
Trump is preparing for a visit to the U.K. on June 3, one that has generated plenty of controversy and plans for protests. Khan, who has been a target of President Trump on Twitter, said that his country should have a close relationship with the United States, but still should not be “rolling out the red carpet” for Trump.
“We shouldn’t have a state banquet,” Khan said in an interview on Friday, via The Washington Post.
Trump’s July 2018 visit was not considered a state visit, TheWashington Post noted, and the only two state visits by U.S. presidents came in 2011 under Barack Obama and in 2003 under George W. Bush. As the report added, state visits are more formal trips that come with plenty of pomp and circumstance.
British Prime Minister Theresa May first extended the offer for a state visit to President Trump in 2017, but it was delayed, and Trump put off the trip amid plans for widespread protests against them. A Bloomberg News report from early in 2018 noted that Trump had asked May to ban protests for his visit, saying he would not come unless she could guarantee him a warm welcome and no criticism from the British press.
London’s mayor says Trump "not in same class" as Obama and Bush, not worthy of U.K. state visit https://t.co/ipRpUooHZB— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 10, 2019
May rebuked Trump, telling him that the British press was free to criticize Trump. Some of May’s advises who were listening in on the phone call were astonished at the request, the report noted.
The incident drew widespread criticism of Trump as autocratic and thin-skinned, feeding into the protests that took place when he finally did make a visit to the U.K. Organizers created a giant blimp that depicted Donald Trump as an angry baby, and flew it during his visit.
The blimp will make a return when Trump comes back for his state visit.
“The Trump baby will definitely fly again,” Lee Murray, who helped to raise money for the initial blimp, told The Guardian.
Murray said that he and other organizers have been toying the idea with a Donald Trump baby blimp that would be about five times the size of the rather large one that flew last year. Construction would cost more than $100,000, he said. A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gave the ultimate approval for the blimp to fly the first time, has already hinted that a larger blimp would likely be approved again.