After two million British citizens signed a petition calling for Donald Trump to be prevented from making an official state visit to the UK, Trump has resorted to begging British Prime Minister Theresa May to “fix it” so he’ll receive a warm welcome before agreeing to the trip.
According to an article in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British newspaper The Sun, Trump “made his shameless plea in a private conversation with Theresa May to plan his state visit — now postponed until next year.”
A transcript of their conversation was seen by senior diplomats and leaked to The Sun. The exchange shows a petulant president complaining about his press coverage, as well as his reception by the British public, and vowing not to visit unless May makes it better.
Trump: “I haven’t had great coverage out there lately, Theresa.”
May: “Well, you know what the British press are like.”
Trump: “I still want to come, but I’m in no rush. So, if you can fix it for me, it would make things a lot easier. When I know I’m going to get a better reception, I’ll come and not before.”
If Trump thinks the Prime Minister can affect the reception he receives from the British public and their press, he is attributing more power to her than her dismal performance in the recent parliamentary elections would indicate. After calling an election that she had previously vowed not to, she led her Conservative party from a majority to a loss that forced her into a coalition government with the loyalist party in Northern Ireland and now faces questions about her ability to retain the leadership of her party and the Prime Minister’s seat that goes along with it.
May reportedly responded to Trump by explaining that she has no power to instruct the press how to cover his visit.
“After all, we are not North Korea. He said he would not agree a date until people support him coming,'” a source told The Sun.
With two million UK citizens already weighing in, that date may be a long time coming.