Donald Trump is reportedly considering skipping a state visit to Ireland because Irish leader Leo Varadkar would rather meet Trump at a castle instead of a Trump-owned golf course.
As The Irish Times reports, Trump is scheduled to make official state visits to France and the United Kingdom in June, and had been considering making a visit to Ireland while he was in the region. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had hoped that the two could meet at an ancient Irish castle, preferably Dromoland Castle. Trump, however, reportedly wants to meet on the links at the Trump-owned Doonbeg golf course, about 31 miles away.
An unnamed White House official reportedly told the Irish newspaper that Trump would simply prefer to skip Ireland entirely, rather than meet at a place that wasn’t of his choosing. The same official allegedly said that Trump would instead visit Scotland. Trump owns several golf courses in Scotland.
The White House hasn’t officially said — one way or the other — whether or not the president will be visiting Ireland this summer. And if Trump does visit Ireland, it opens up a whole host of complications for the island nation.
If President Trump did decide to visit Ireland during a European tour, officials in both the U.S. and in Ireland would have to work out whether the visit was an official state visit, or an informal stop. Either scenario requires its own set of protocols and actions to be observed by officials from both countries.
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"This is the president’s ball. I don’t know what to tell you." https://t.co/HUUJplmmrA
The fact that the president reportedly prefers to visit his own private property in Ireland, rather than an Irish landmark or official Irish government building, could complicate things even further.
A Scotland trip would also be complicated for both countries. Trump has already visited the United Kingdom — of which Scotland is a part — and visited Queen Elizabeth and the British prime minister. So would a second Scotland visit be an informal visit, or an official state visit? And what if Trump wants to go to one of his Scottish golf courses?
Trump, for his part, has said that he plans to visit Ireland “at some point this year,” after having met with Varadkar at the White House in March.
Trump and Varadkar, though cordial to each other, have little in common politically. Further, according to The Week, Varadkar has promised that anti-Trump protests, should Trump decide to visit Ireland, would not be expressly forbidden.