- US ambassador to the UK says Donald Trump will visit next year.
- Woody Johnson said Trump’s Britain First retweets were “misinterpreted.”
US President Donald Trump will visit the UK next year, despite his recent spat with Theresa May, the US ambassador to the UK has said.
Woody Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme on Tuesday: “Absolutely, I think he will come. It hasn’t been officially announced, but I hope he does.”
An official state visit would entail the president being hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, the BBC said, although there have been reports that his visit could be lower key and not involve time with the Queen.
A row erupted between the US and UK last month after Trump retweeted three videos from Jayda Fransen, the leader of the far-right, anti-Muslim group Britain First last month, and taunted May when she condemned his actions.
But Johnson, the billionaire owner of the New York Jets, insisted that “a lot of that stuff was probably misinterpreted,” and that Trump’s retweets were simply an attempt to “protect Americans.”
He told the BBC:
“I think a lot of that stuff was probably misinterpreted.
“The way I look at it, and the way he looks at this, is security is his number one oath. It’s protecting Americans here and the US… If you look at it in the context of that, that’s what he’s trying to do.
“Is he going to be perfect and appeasing everybody? […]
“He wants to protect Americans and he’s doing his best to do that. He’s not going to go down the path of a lot of politicians and maybe be namby-pamby about it. He’s probably going to take some chances, and an effort to achieve that security goal may be that he’ll ruffle some feathers. […]
“While there may be disagreements of how he said something, or how he does something, I think you can be rest assured that the security and prosperity… are top of mind to him.”
Multiple British campaign groups have promised to stage huge protests if Trump visits next year. Labour MP Stella Creasy told the BBC on Tuesday that she would take to the streets in pink to protest the arrival of the president. She called on other Brits to find creative and peaceful ways to demonstrate against Trump.
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