How Trump’s UK state visit is breaking norms


AMNA NAWAZ: We return now to our top story,
President Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom. Our Yamiche Alcindor is traveling with the
president and reports that, despite the trappings of royalty, Mr. Trump received a raucous welcome. And he had quite a bit to say himself. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: President Trump stood silently
next to the queen, observing palace rules after spending the weekend breaking a host
of political ones. Even before Marine One landed at Buckingham
Palace, the president had already added to Britain’s mounting political chaos. Outside the palace walls, London gave him
a very different sort of welcoming ceremony. HELEN XENA, London: I don’t think that Donald
Trump should have been invited to this country by the Tory government. He’s a white supremacist fascist. He has no respect for women, for people of
color or anything else you can think of, except himself. JONATHON GANT, London; He’s tearing up a lot
of what this country believes in, and we invited him here, and we’re giving him all this pomp
and circumstance and normalizing his behavior, and it’s messed up. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The president returned the
favor by taking aim at a number of notable figures in his host city. He renewed a feud with London mayor Sadiq
Khan, tweeting that he was a — quote — “stone-cold loser.” He insulted a member of the royal family and
he shattered diplomatic protocol by in getting involved in British domestic politics. This is a city and a nation in turmoil. This week, Prime Minister Theresa May plans
to step down as leader of her party. And the United Kingdom is supposed to leave
the European Union in just four months. But there’s no agreement on key issues. LAURA HUGHES, Financial Times: I mean, really,
be couldn’t have come at a more awkward time. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The president criticized
May’s handling of Brexit, saying she had not been tough enough. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
U.K. allowed the European Union to have all the cards, and it’s very hard to play well
when one side has all the advantage. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: President Trump offered
his take on who should replace May. He said ex-foreign Secretary and Brexit supporter
Boris Johnson would make a — quote — “excellent leader of the Conservative Party,” or Tories. He’s a colorful controversial former journalist
and mayor of London. Johnson wants to reopen Brexit talks with
the E.U., but, if that fails, he says he would support leaving with no deal. But even Johnson is trying to choreograph
a delicate dance. LAURA HUGHES: But how useful is it for team
Boris to have this endorsement, to have this meeting at this stage? I’m not sure it is that helpful. And he might, as he is trying to appeal to
more moderate members of his party, want to distance himself from the U.S. president during
this trip. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The president also hinted
that he might stop sharing intelligence with the U.K. if Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
were to win the next general election. DONALD TRUMP: I would have to meet him. I don’t know him. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Corbyn boycotted the state
dinner. Trump said that was a mistake. Other members of Parliament said a state visit
was an honor Trump didn’t deserve. Stephen Doughty, a Labor member of Parliament,
started a petition in April to try to convince May to withdraw the invitation. STEPHEN DOUGHTY, Parliament Member: We choose
who we honor. And this is a racist, sexist, divisive president
who’s supported far-right organizations in the United States and here in the U.K. I think
it’s a real — really appalling situation that we should be welcoming with such sort
of pomp a man he represents, I think, the very worst of the world, certainly doesn’t
represent the American and British values that I love. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Meanwhile, the president
didn’t even spare new mother Meghan Markle, the duchess of Sussex. Back in 2016, she had this to say about the
future president: Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex: And with
as misogynistic as Trump is, and so vocal about it, that’s a huge chunk of it. You’re not just voting for a woman, if it’s
Hillary, just because it’s a woman, but certainly because Trump has made it easy to see that
you don’t really want that kind of world. DONALD TRUMP: No, I didn’t know that she was
nasty. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: President Trump later tweeted
— quote — “I never called Meghan Markle nasty.” Meghan Markle is on maternity leave and is
not scheduled to meet him. He did meet with other royals and, this evening,
they gathered to toast him at a state dinner. DONALD TRUMP: From the Second World War to
today, Her Majesty has stood as a constant symbol of these price priceless traditions. QUEEN ELIZABETH II, United Kingdom: Mr. President,
as we look to the future, I’m confident that our common values and shared interests will
continue to unite us. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Despite the drama playing
out on Twitter and on the streets, the president appeared to follow the royal family’s lead
once they were together: Keep calm and carry on. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Yamiche Alcindor
in London.

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