Speed Reads

Second Thoughts

Trump may pull out from Britain state visit after all

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May's office denied a newspaper report that President Trump's state visit in the fall had been put on hold after Trump angered many Britons with his tweets about London and its mayor, Sadiq Khan, after last week's terrorist attack. "The queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the U.K. and there is no change to those plans," a May spokesman said, and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the idea of postponing Trump's visit "never came up" when the two leaders spoke last week, adding, "The president has tremendous respect for Prime Minister May."

But whether or not the invitation stands, Trump is "considering scrapping or postponing" the visit anyway, after expressing "increasing skepticism to aides about the trip," The New York Times reports, citing two administration officials. The trip was tentatively scheduled for the fall, probably in October, and Trump "has not definitively ruled out going," the Times reports, "but he has told his staff that he wants to avoid a marathon overseas trip like his nine-day trek to the Middle East and Europe, which he found exhausting and overly long," and he prefers that foreign leaders visit him.

But optics and politics are major considerations, too. Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular in Britain, and any visit by him — let alone a state visit with all its pomp — would probably be met with wide-scale protests. Recent polls have found that more than half of the British public views Mr. Trump as a threat to global stability. [The New York Times]

Trump did not discuss his tentatively scheduled visit on the phone last week, the officials say, but he and May have "discussed the potential difficulties of a trip to Britain."