US ambassador hopeful for Trump UK visit

Woody Johnson says the president will visit in 2018 despite “ruffled feathers” over recent tweets.

The US ambassador to Britain said he expects Donald Trump to visit the UK in the new year despite his recent Twitter row with Theresa May.

Woody Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the disagreement was “probably misinterpreted”.

Mrs May had said Mr Trump was “wrong” to share videos posted by the far-right group Britain First, prompting an online backlash from the US president.

Mr Johnson said Mr Trump’s relationship with the UK was still “very very good”.

He said Mr Trump had not yet set a date for the visit – which would see the president being hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

“Absolutely, I think he will come,” he told Today.

“It hasn’t been officially announced, but I hope he does.

“I think it’s a very very good relationship,” he said.

Speaking of Mrs May’s visit to the Oval Office in January, he said: “The prime minister was his first visitor, the first official foreign leader to visit.”

There were calls for a reciprocal visit to be abandoned, after Mr Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos last month.

When a Downing Street spokesman said he had been “wrong” to do so the president hit back, telling Mrs May to focus on “destructive” terrorism in the UK.

.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

Former NFL tycoon Mr Johnson said he was “familiar with these kinds of emotions people have” from his background in sport.

He accepted there “may be disagreements” over how Mr Trump says or does things.

He said that Mr Trump was not “namby-pamby” about expressing his views, adding: “Maybe he’ll ruffle feathers – there’s no question that maybe some feathers were ruffled.”

Mr Johnson, who took up his post in September, responded to comments from Twitter users at the time of the row, writing of a “long history” of “speaking frankly” between the US and UK.

I wanted you to #AskWoody. Thank you for your questions and feedback. I have relayed your concerns to Washington. The U.S. & UK have a long history of speaking frankly with each other, as all close friends do. Our relationship is strong, vital and enduring.

End of Twitter post by @USAmbUK

Wintry conditions cause travel disruption and schools remain closed after the coldest night of the year.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.