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Trump’s UK visit an eventful mix

Opinion Piece

It is a mark of the unpredictability of United States President Donald Trump that his three-day UK visit, where he launched himself into British politics — something his predecessors carefully avoided — has been labelled a success.

He was not even off Air Force One when he continued his feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom he called a stone cold loser.

Trump had already offered praise for one of many candidates vying for leadership of the Conservative Party and the role of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

He then proceeded to hold a meeting with the leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage, with the latter saying afterwards that Trump “truly believed in Brexit”.

He would not, however, meet with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn whom he accused of being negative. (Corbyn had chosen not to attend a state banquet with Trump at Buckingham Palace on Monday, instead leading a demonstration against the US President.)

In a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, in her last week in office, he promised a “phenomenal” trade deal after Britain left Europe with everything on the table including the cherished NHS.

One of his more interesting meetings would have been the 75 minutes he spent with keen environmentalist Prince Charles, for a clash of minds if ever there was one.

The protests in London the next day were down on his previous visit, a sign of protestor fatigue perhaps.

Trump also avoided making another faux pas during the ceremonial part of his visit. He obviously enjoyed the state banquet and time with the Queen, who he called a great woman while praising the special relationship between the two countries. It was a contrast to a year ago when he committed the “no no” of walking ahead of her while inspecting a guard of honour.

Trump’s visit ended with the D-Day commemorations at Portsmouth where the significance of the event brought out a more dignified President, reading a prayer from the late Franklin Roosevelt. From there it was on to Ireland to spend some time on the golf club he owns there after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, for a quiet end to a sometimes turbulent visit.