President Trump has begun a multi-day trip to Europe, with his first and longest stop in Great Britain. He has already had a private lunch with the Royal family and is expected to attend a state banquet in his honor tonight.
He has also annoyed much of the British populace with a denigrating remark about the new Princess, Meghan Markle, during an interview with the pro-Trump UK tabloid The Sun. Because the comment was couched amidst slightly positive and dismissive statements about her, Trump then issued a denial he’d ever called her “nasty”.
He then began issuing insults to the Mayor of London via tweet, responding to a Sunday opinion column in the Guardian in which Mayor Sadiq Khan argued “It’s un-British to roll out the red carpet for Donald Trump” The focal point of that article is that Trump, in Khan’s eyes, is ideological kin to the fascistic “right” of some current and past European political leaders. It is unarguably insulting, and Trump responded by attacking, not Khan’s policy, but his personality. He called Khan a “stone cold loser” via Twitter, and then unfortunately followed by promoting a blatantly fascistic request that people stop subscribing to CNN parent company AT&T in an effort to curtail their reporting of his activities.
Trump’s next stops are expected to be in Ireland, followed by a visit to France for a D-Day celebration. He will undoubtedly receive moderately warm official greetings, as would be expected during a state visit from a key ally. His reception among the populace will likely be less positive.
Pew Research numbers from 2018 show that confidence in the US has declined in both the UK and France. Other countries are not often polled about their views on the U.S. President, but a late 2017 poll in Ireland found that Trump and Putin were the most heavily reviled among world leaders, while Macron has been making direct statements – fueled in part by his desire to increase his popularity – against nationalism and nationalist countries. Those statements have been widely interpreted as broadsides against Trump, who was once perceived as a potential strong ally because of Macron’s centrist policy.
There is no indication that Macron will back away from his anti-Nationalist position; in fact, he made one such comment with Trump present, during the President’s previous trip to France.
“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said in a 20-minute address delivered from under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.Reuters
This is indicative of the friendlier side of Trump’s European visit. Expect the crowds and the media to be far less polite.