Politics

Trump 'Bans' British Visitors From Touring White House

| by Denise Recalde

President Donald Trump has effectively banned British tourists from touring his new residence. 

Per a new administration policy, all foreign tourists have to go through their own governments to get tickets to tour the White House. 

The new policy was unveiled only days after the 70-year-old president and his wife Melania announced that tours would officially resume at the residence, Daily Star reports.

Following an intense security screening process, visitors will be able to spend 45 minutes touring the iconic building in the hopes they will briefly see the President.

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Americans are able to obtain tour tickets through their member of Congress, The Sun reports.  

New measures passed by the administration, however, dictate that non-U.S. residents must contact their embassies to acquire tickets for the tour. 

An official with the White House said in a statement: "If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request."

However, the British Embassy in the nation's capital stated it is "unable to process any applications at this time" and that the procedure to acquire White House tickets is "on hold."

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An embassy representative clarified: "The White House website states that foreign nationals interested in touring the White House should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour. However, the Embassy has been advised by the U.S. Department of State that this is on hold. We are therefore unable to process any applications at this time," Metro reports. 

It is unclear whether the hold on ticket distribution affects other embassies as well.

Foreign citizens can still directly attend a tour to visit the U.S. Capitol, where senators and representatives hold their voting sessions. 

The Pentagon is also still open to foreigners as well. There, however, British citizens are asked to "submit the British Embassy's address instead of their home address."

A man from west London, Julian Eccles, told the Independent that he had toured the White House in 2009 with his eldest son when Barack Obama was president. He had hoped to repeat the visit with his younger son this year but will not be able to as a result of the administrative hold.

“There seems to be a rupture in White House-State Department relations here,” Eccles said. "Perhaps I should call Nigel Farage."

The ban follows rumors that unpopular former British Prime Minister Tony Blair may be joining Trump's staff; Blair has denied the rumor.

Sources: Daily Star (2), Metro, Independent, The Sun, Daily Mail / Photo credit: JoshBerglund19/Flickr
 

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