President Trump’s Whirlwind Visit to the UK

July 15, 2018 Updated: July 16, 2018    

It’s been a whirlwind trip for U.S. President Donald Trump, who touched down in the UK on July 12—his first visit to the country since being elected as president.

He played a final round of golf at his Turnberry course on Sunday, July 15, before setting off to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

During his UK trip, he’s had tea with the Queen, held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, and had a bombshell interview with the British tabloid, The Sun.

A post-Brexit deal

At a press conference with May at her country residence, Chequers, the president said he looked forward to finalizing a free trade deal with the UK.

“Once the Brexit process is concluded and perhaps the UK has left the EU, I don’t know what they’re going to do but whatever you do is OK with me, that’s your decision,” he said. “Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together, that’s all that matters.”

He also described the relationship between the UK and the U.S. as “the highest level of special.”

The Sun interview

It was a bombshell interview by political editor of The Sun, Tom Newton Dunn, in which Trump criticised May’s Brexit strategy and also said that Boris Johnson would make a great prime minister.

At the press conference, however, Trump called it “fake news,” saying that the report omitted the positive things he said about May.

May appeared to not take Trump’s critical comments in the report to heart, apparently remarking, “Don’t worry, it’s only the press” to the president.

Dinner at Blenheim Palace

The President and First Lady were welcomed to Blenheim Palace by a marching band made up of the Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, stand together with U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the entrance to Blenheim Palace. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

He was shown around an exhibition of Winston Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace. The following day, at Chequers, Trump was photographed in the chair that belonged to the former wartime leader.

The president and First Lady were joined by 150 specially invited guests and business leaders for a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace. He enjoyed smoked Scottish salmon for starters, Hereford beef fillet with potatoes for the main course, and a pudding of strawberries with clotted cream.

Welcoming the president amid the protests

The Trumps traveled around the UK by helicopter, bypassing traffic—and the protests.

While the protests against Trump, mainly organised by leftist organisations, took place in London, others wanted to give the president a warm welcome in the UK.

On the day that Trump touched down in the country, British Member of Parliament Daniel Kawczynski hosted a welcome event in the British parliament.

“There are a lot of manifestations against the president’s visit,” Kawczynski said. “We wanted to give a different interpretation of the visit, both to visiting Americans but also to our own media.”

And a pub in west London, called The Jameson, has re-named itself “The Trump Arms” to celebrate the American president’s visit.

A man holds a poster welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump as demonstrators protest against his visit in central London, Britain, July 13, 2018. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

There was also a rally on Saturday in London by Trump supporters and right-wing activists who wanted to show their support of Trump.

Sarah B. Elliot, Chairwoman of Republicans Overseas UK said many British Trump supporters are shy to express themselves.

“I get messages all the time from people who support the president, support President Trump, but they don’t feel like they can say it openly especially in an urban environment or a big city,” she said.

Tea With the Queen

Trump and the First Lady had tea with the British monarch on Friday at Windsor Castle. The Queen, now 92, had met 11 U.S. presidents before meeting Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II inspect a Guard of Honour, formed of the Coldstream Guards at Windsor Castle on July 13, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images)