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Trump Cancels Great Britain Trip, Blames Obama

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President Donald Trump will not travel to the United Kingdom in February for the christening of America's new embassy in London.

According to reports first published by the Daily Mail, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend the event in Trump's place.

The president linked his decision to skip the ceremony to his disapproval of a "bad deal" done by the Obama administration to move the embassy from its old location for a cost he deemed too high.

Trump took to Twitter to explain: "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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

However, it was the State Department under former President George W. Bush that made the decision in 2008 to move the embassy for security reasons, according to the New York Post.

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Since taking office, Trump has had an icy relationship with the leaders of one of the U.S' closest allies. He engaged in public Twitter spats with London Mayor Sadiq Khan at various times during 2017. In November, Trump was rebuked by Prime Minister Theresa May and others when he retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda material from a far-right British party.

The fact that no new date has been offered after Trump nixed the Feb. 26-27 trip has raised concerns of a major diplomatic snub, according to the Daily Mail.

One source attributed Trump's disinterest in the trip as being due to the absence of royal involvement.

However, it is widely believed that Trump would be facing a fair amount of dissent from protesters, and one ally of the president, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, said that may have played into his decision to remain stateside as well.

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"It's disappointing," Farage said. "He has been to countries all over the world and yet he has not been to the one with whom he is closest."

The chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, believes Trump is more sensitive to international criticism emanating from Great Britain because it is expressed in English.

While he believes the president's not visiting is a "great shame," he added that "the alliance [between Great Britain and the U.S.] isn't based on who lives in the White House ... it's on shared values, common interests and absolute commitment to the international rules-based system which we have [upheld] through NATO, through the United Nations and through various other treaty organizations around the world."

Sources: Daily Mail, New York Post / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: The White House/Flickr, Alisdare Hickson/Flickr

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