The US President has dismissed reports of anti-Trump protests as “fake news” despite his own motorcade passing a 20-foot blimp of himself as a nappy-clad baby while arriving to meet Prime Minister Theresa May.
Central London was brought to a standstill after protesters flooded the iconic Trafalgar Square before marching to Parliament Square in what organisers have labelled a “Carnival Of Resistance” against Mr Trump.
During his meeting with Ms May, Mr Trump described the size of the crowds protesting his state visit to the UK as “small”.
This was a clear attempt to severely downplay the scale of the protests which filled the streets in London’s government district, nearby the meeting between the two leaders.
The US president also promised Britain a “phenomenal” post-Brexit trade deal.
“It’s the greatest alliance the world has ever known,” Mr Trump said, calling the outgoing UK prime minister a “tremendous professional”.
President Trump: “Haven’t seen any protests yet…”
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) June 4, 2019
When asked about the large-scale demonstrations being held just blocks away from a joint press conference with Ms May, Mr Trump said there were “thousands of people cheering” as he posed for photos outside Ms May’s Downing Street office.
“And then I heard there were protests, I said ‘where are the protests? I don’t see any protests’.
“I did see a small protest today when I came, very small, so a lot of it is fake news I hate to say,” Mr Trump told reporters.
New props included a robotic Trump sitting on a toilet, and signs ranging from women’s rights to environmental rights.
The chants, “Say it loud, say it clear, Donald Trump’s not welcome here,” rang out in the square.
A huge police and security operation was underway with more than 3500 officers deployed on the streets.
Leaders of Britain’s main opposition party joined demonstrators at the rally, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn declining an invitation to the banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening.
Mr Corbyn said he joined the Together Against Trump protest to “stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country”.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump hailed the UK/US alliance as the “greatest alliance the world has never known”.
Photo du Jour: US President @realDonaldTrump and British PM @theresa_may leave a news conference at the @foreignoffice in London during his state visit to London. #TrumpUKVisit By Stefan Rousseau/PA pic.twitter.com/4iTVX5xFMc
— Stefan Rousseau (@StefanRousseau) June 4, 2019
He said Brexit “will happen and it should happen” during the press conference with Ms May, adding that the US is “committed to a phenomenal trade deal” with the UK if Britain leaves the European Union.
“There is tremendous potential in that trade deal, I say probably two and even three times of what we are doing right now.” Mr Trump said.
He described the UK as a “great, great country” that “wants its own identity … wants to have its own borders” and “wants to run its own affairs”.
“This is a very, very special place,” he added.
He also praised Ms May as a “tremendous professional”, saying she “deserves a lot of credit on Brexit”.
He previously said Ms May should have taken his advice to sue the bloc.
He repeated that same advice during the press conference, this time saying he would have “sued and settled, maybe, but you never know. She’s probably a better negotiator that I am”.