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Massive protests make Trump’s second visit to the U.K. somehow even more awkward than his first

Insulting London's mayor (check) supporting the prime minister's opponents (check), being met with protests (check).

Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump attend a joint press conference at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office during the second day of his State Visit on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump attend a joint press conference at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office during the second day of his State Visit on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters descended on central London Tuesday, during President Donald Trump’s second state visit to the United Kingdom.

When asked about the protests and insults at a Tuesday press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump called the protests “fake news.”

“I didn’t see the protesters until just a little while ago and it was a very, very small group of people put in for political reasons. So it was fake news,” said Trump. 

Anti-Trump protestors demonstrate in Trafalgar Square on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Alex McBride/Getty Images.
Anti-Trump protestors demonstrate in Trafalgar Square on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Alex McBride/Getty Images.

Trump added that London Mayor Sadiq Khan was not “doing a very good job,” one day after calling him a “stone cold loser.” Khan compared Trump’s temperament to that of an 11-year-old child after his remarks on Monday and said that he was “not offended in the slightest.”

Counter-protestors confront anti-Trump protestors as they demonstrate in Whitehall on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Alex McBride/Getty Images.
Counter-protestors confront anti-Trump protestors as they demonstrate in Whitehall on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Alex McBride/Getty Images.

Labour Leader Jeremy Coryn spoke at a protest in London’s Trafalgar Square, saying that he wants to maintain the lines of communication between the United States and the United Kingdom.

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“But I’m very disappointed, particularly today, on the wonderful festival of Eid [marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan], that our mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has been attacked in the way that he has,” said Corbyn, adding he is proud that the city has a Muslim mayor.

A crowd of protesters during a demonstration on Whitehall during the second day of U.S. President Donald Trump's State Visit on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Peter Summers/Getty Images.
A crowd of protesters during a demonstration on Whitehall during the second day of U.S. President Donald Trump's State Visit on June 4, 2019 in London, England. CREDIT: Peter Summers/Getty Images.

 

 

Tuesday’s protests included the infamous Trump Baby Blimp flying high again, as well as this item, which appears to show the president tweeting on the latrine and saying, “You’re fake news! I’m a very stable genius!”

One of the protests was originally planned to be held close to Downing Street (the headquarters of the U.K. government and the official residence of the Prime Minister) during Trump’s meeting with May. But police sealed off the area to protesters, who had to re-route at the last minute.

Trump’s visit couldn’t come at a more politically tense time for the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister May is stepping down on Friday after trying for three years, and failing, to secure the Brexit deal voters passed in a 2016 referendum, puling the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

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Trump supports Brexit. On Tuesday, he said May deserved “a lot of credit” for getting Brexit to where it is now, but in the past he has openly criticized her handling of the deal, saying the U.K. should “walk away” from the deal rather than allow the E.U. to dictate the terms of the deal.

When asked what his views on Brexit are, Trump — who has yet to secure a trade deal with China or close the free trade deal with Mexico and Canada — said he had predicted that “it was going to happen.”

He also said the United States “is committed to a phenomenal trade deal between the U.S. and the and the U.K.”

Trump, while meeting with May and heaping praise on her, has also been publicly talking up those who have sought her ouster — notably, Nigel Farage, founder of the Brexit Partt, and former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, who wants to succeed May as prime minister.

Before the press conference, Trump called Johnson and offered to meet with him. He later said that he likes Johnson and thinks he would “do a very good job.”

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This is very similar to what he said when he visited Britain in July 2018, when, again standing next to May, he had this to say about Johnson: I think he thinks I’m doing a great job as president. I’m doing a great job, I can tell you in case you haven’t noticed, Boris Johnson would be a great prime minister.”

That visit, which also was met by massive protests, was preceded by Trump criticizing May for her handling of Brexit during an interview with The Sun, a  British tabloid. He later denied the report, calling it “fake news.”

The tabloid later released recordings of the interview.