Donald Trump dismisses UK protests against his visit as ‘organised flops’
Donald Trump has dismissed protests against his visit to the UK as “organised flops”, saying that the larger crowds were made up of his supporters.
The statement, made in an early morning tweet on Wednesday, came after thousands of protesters took to London’s streets on Tuesday, the second day of the US President’s state visit.
He tweeted: “I kept hearing that there would be ‘massive’ rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite.
“The big crowds, which the Corrupt Media hates to show, were those that gathered in support of the USA and me.
“They were big & enthusiastic as opposed to the organized flops!”
Popular fan account The Trump Train replied to the tweet by sharing a video of demonstrators chanting “We want Trump” in London. However, the video appeared to have been taken at a “Free Tommy Robinson” protest in June 2018, while the far-right activist was in jail for contempt of court.
Footage of the same protest was widely shared on social media in December 2018 to falsely claim as evidence that French “yellow vest” demonstrators were also chanting “We want Trump”, and the president himself endorsed the claim.
In December, Mr Trump tweeted: “The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France … Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France.”
According to The Trump Babysitters group, tens of thousands of protesters were involved in demonstrations against the president on Tuesday – fewer than an estimated 250,000 who gathered when the US leader visited the UK on July 13 last year – while a Trump supporter admitted they were “a minority”.
The protests were attended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and representatives of the Liberal Democrats and Green Party, as well as the 20ft Trump Baby blimp which took to the skies above Parliament Square after permission was granted by the Greater London Authority.
During a press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, Mr Trump had hit back at Mr Corbyn and moved to dismiss reports of widespread protests.
The president said he refused to meet the Labour leader, describing him as a “somewhat negative force”, adding: “I didn’t see the protesters until just a little while ago and it was a very, very small group of people put in for political reasons, so it was fake news.”
Other protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square before marching to Whitehall, with sellers of toilet paper with Mr Trump’s face printed on it and a 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet becoming a focal point for onlookers.
Supporters of Mr Trump also took to the streets.
“I’m obviously going to be a minority today,” said Trump supporter Lewis Metcalfe, 28, who was in Parliament Square wearing a Make America Great Again cap.
“I don’t agree with all his policies. He’s not the greatest president in the world but he does get things done.”
There were a number of clashes between pro and anti-Trump groups throughout the day.
One Trump supporter was surrounded by an angry group of protesters shouting “Nazi” in Parliament Square, with video footage posted on social media showing a milkshake being thrown at him before a scuffle broke out.
Further protests against Mr Trump are planned in Ireland, where the president is set to arrive on Wednesday afternoon, with a Shannonwatch peace camp to be erected at Shannon Airport for the duration of his stay.
A demonstration by the Stop Trump Ireland coalition is planned in Dublin on Thursday at the Garden of Remembrance.