President Trump will not be traveling to the United Kingdom to attend the opening the new U.S. embassy in London next month.
After local reports Thursday indicated he would skip the event amid concerns that large protests will break out, Trump tweeted that he chose not to go because of a "bad deal" that saw the relocation of the embassy.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The U.S. embassy's longtime location in Grosvenor Square in central London caused security concerns, and therefore a new embassy was planned for Nine Elms in southwest London at the cost of about $1 billion.
The State Department signed an agreement in 2008, when George W. Bush was still president, with real estate developer Ballymore to acquire a site in the Nine Elms Opportunity Area in Wandsworth for the construction of a new embassy and a ground-breaking ceremony took place in 2013.
The opening of the new embassy is slated for next month and U.K. media reports, including those from the Guardian and the Independent, suggest that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be attending instead of Trump.
“There have been no announcements regarding the Secretary traveling to the United Kingdom,” the State Department’s press office told the Washington Examiner in an email.
The White House did not immediately respond to a media request for comment.
Trump is not on the best terms with British leaders as of late.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn instructed his supporters last month to provide Trump a “clear message” he would not be gladly received in the U.K. As a result, the plan for the official visit, where Trump would have the chance to meet the Queen of England, was demoted to a less impressive “working visit.”
May and Trump sparred on Twitter in November after he retweeted an anti-Muslim video posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group.
May claimed Trump’s retweet was “wrong.” Trump responded by tweeting at her to redirect her attention to “destructive radical Islamic terrorism."