Trump cancels Britain trip, blames Obama for “London” embassy deal

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LONDON (Reuters): U.S. President Donald Trump turn down a trip to London scheduled for next month to open a new embassy, blaming Barack Obama for selling off the old one for “peanuts” in a bad deal.

More than a year into his presidency, Trump has yet to visit London, with many British voters promising mass protests against a U.S. leader they see as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on a range of issues.

Trump said in a tweet late on Thursday, “The 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 said, “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”

The decision to acquire a new London embassy site on the south bank of the Thames was announced in 2008 under George W. Bush along with the plans to put the Grosvenor Square site in Mayfair up for sale.

A pillar of Britain’s foreign policy since World War Two, the so-called “special relationship” with Washington has taken on added importance as Britain prepares to leave the European Union in 2019 and seeks new major trade deals.

That state visit, which is different to his now canceled working trip, has still not yet taken place, though British officials insist it has not been canceled.

The American flag was this month removed from the U.S. embassy in Grosvenor Square  an area known as “Little America” during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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