Trump UK visit expected in new year, US ambassador says


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Woody Johnson said the US president was not “namby-pamby” about voicing his opinions

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 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.

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.

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

“There may be disagreements of how [Mr Trump] says something, or how he does something,” he admitted.

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.

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