‘Trump baby’ blimp hovers over London’s parliament amid protests of his visit
Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images(LONDON) — With its straw-blond hair, questionable face tan and unmistakably out-of-proportion hands, a blimp intended to depict President Donald Trump as a screaming baby drifted outside the Parliament building in London on Friday.
Protesters accompanied the “Trump baby” balloon, with signs railing against Trump’s policies on topics such as immigration, race relations, women and climate change.
The blimp is part of a series of protests across the U.K. organized by the Stop Trump Coalition, which describes itself as a “coalition of organizations and individuals joined forces to protest against Donald Trump’s planned visit to the U.K.”
A statement on its website reads, “We will make it clear to the British government that it’s not OK to normalize Trump’s agenda and the hate and fear it has sparked.”
Friday’s protests come just one day after an interview with President Trump was published in the British tabloid publication The Sun in which he referenced the larger-than-life balloon.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” Trump said. “I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”
Trump even took a shot at London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not taking a harder line on immigration, and painted the city as a hub for terrorism.
“Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place,” Trump said. “Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism.”
During the launch of the blimp, Sky News interviewed Mayor Khan, questioning whether the blimp was an appropriate form of protest.
“The fact that it may cause offense to somebody isn’t a good reason to deter the hard-fought rights of freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” the mayor said.
Trump also set a hard line on the country’s ongoing “Brexit” negotiations, telling the tabloid that he advised Prime Minister Theresa May against the “soft” blueprint she recently presented to alleviate economic fallout as the country separates from the European Union.
“I would have done it much differently,” Trump said. “I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t agree. She didn’t listen to me.”
Trump went as far as to suggest that a “soft” Brexit could endanger any unilateral trade deal reached between the United States and the U.K.
In the wake of the interview, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement that appeared aimed to smooth things over.
“The president likes and respects Prime Minister May very much,” she said. “As he said in his interview with The Sun, she ‘is a very good person’ and he ‘never said anything bad about her.’ He thought she was great on NATO today and is a really terrific person. He is thankful for the wonderful welcome from the prime minister here in the U.K.”
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