US President Donald Trump arrives in UK for four-day visit

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport, Britain, July 12 2018. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Updated 12 July 2018
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US President Donald Trump arrives in UK for four-day visit

  • US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for the start of a four-day visit
  • His visit comes after he accused his beleaguered host of failing to deliver on voters' intentions when they decided to quit the EU

LONDON: US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for the start of a four-day visit, during which he will meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May as well as with Queen Elizabeth II during a weekend in Scotland.

His visit comes after he accused his beleaguered host of failing to deliver on voters' intentions when they decided to quit the EU.
Ignoring all diplomatic niceties, the convention-shredding US president set up the four-day visit with a rebuke of May as she battles to stop her government falling apart over Brexit.
Shrugging off the plans for mass protests, which will include a giant baby-shaped blimp bearing Trump's features, he said in Brussels: "They like me a lot in the UK. I think they agree with me on immigration.
"I think that's why Brexit happened," he said, noting that Britain was "a pretty hot spot right now with a lot of resignations".
"The people voted to break it up (Britain's ties with the EU)," Trump told a press conference.
"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route. I don't know (if) that is what they voted for," he added.
"I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly."
The trip, which will include tea with the Queen and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a mass demonstration in London on Friday.
Some 77 percent of Britons have an unfavourable view of Trump, according to a poll by YouGov with 1,648 respondents.
The poll conducted this week said 63 percent found Trump racist, and 74 percent said he was sexist.
Despite a series of diplomatic spats between Britain and Trump, the British government is hoping for a quick trade deal with the United States after it leaves the European Union.
"There is no stronger alliance than that of our special relationship with the US and there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead," May said ahead of the visit.
Woody Johnson, US ambassador to the UK, has said a deal will be "a major priority" for Trump, calling Brexit "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change direction".
Trump was flying over after a fraught NATO summit in Brussels where he piled pressure on allies to double their defence spending.
Trump is due to leave Britain on Sunday for talks in Helsinki the following day with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government stands accused by May's of unleashing a lethal nerve agent in the city of Salisbury.

Britain "is in somewhat turmoil", Trump said before departing Washington, remarking that dealing with Putin might surprisingly be the easiest part of the European trip.
That turmoil includes the resignations of May's Brexit and foreign ministers over her plan to retain close ties with the EU after leaving the bloc in March.
Ambassador Johnson sought to play down Trump's comments.
"We're extremely confident in the ability of the UK to plough through this issue with Brexit and move on," he told BBC radio.


Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding US-Mexico border wall

Updated 17 February 2019
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Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding US-Mexico border wall

  • President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border without congressional approval
  • Within hours, the action was challenged in a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Texas landowners

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A US defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Shanahan was likely to approve the $3.6 billion being redirected from the military construction budget.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump can use certain Department of Defense funding to build the wall.
According to the law, the defense secretary has to decide whether the wall is militarily necessary before money from the military construction budget can be used.
“We always anticipated that this would create a lot of attention and since moneys potentially could be redirected, you can imagine the concern this generates,” Shanahan told reporters traveling back with him from his trip to Afghanistan, the Middle East and Europe.
“Very deliberately, we have not made any decisions, we have identified the steps we would take to make those decisions,” Shanahan said.
He added that military planners had done the initial analysis and he would start reviewing it on Sunday.
Officials have said that the administration had found nearly $7 billion to reallocate to the wall, including about $3.6 billion from the military construction budget and $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction fund.
The US defense official said Shanahan would meet with the service secretaries in the coming days to pick which specific projects the money should come from.
Shanahan said that planners had identified the different sources of money that could be used, but he had not decided specifically what projects it would impact and ultimately it was his decision.
“I am not required to do anything,” he said.
Shanahan said he did not expect to take money away from projects like military housing.
Poor standards of military housing were highlighted by recent Reuters reporting, which described rampant mold and pest infestations, childhood lead poisoning, and service families often powerless to challenge private landlords in business with their military employers.
“Military housing, what’s been interesting- I’ve received a number of letters, I’ve had lots of feedback, do not jeopardize projects that are underway,” Shanahan said.
“As we step our way through the process, we’ll use good judgment,” Shanahan said.
The Republican president’s move, circumventing Congress, seeks to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a border wall that Trump insists is necessary to curtail illegal immigration.
Within hours, the action was challenged in a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Texas landowners.
“We are following the law, using the rules and we’re not bending the rules,” Shanahan said.