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Jul 13, 2018

Donald Trump faces awkward meeting with May at Chequers as protests build – live updates | Politics I The Guardian

Donald Trump faces awkward meeting with May at Chequers as protests build – live updates | Politics

Richard Adams

Protestors wearing Donald Trump and Theresa May paper mache heads join the protest in Butler’s Cross, close to the prime minister’s country residence of Chequers.
Protestors wearing Donald Trump and Theresa May paper mache heads join the protest in Butler’s Cross, close to the prime minister’s country residence of Chequers. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

The sun is shining and the anti-Trump protesters are out in force for the first leg of what protesters are calling a “carnival of resistance”.
Huge numbers have turned up for an anti-Trump march organised by Women’s March London.
They set off singing “We are family, I’ve got all my sisters with me” calling for protesters to “bring the noise”.
Thousands replied by dancing, blowing whistles and banging drums while opera singers performed for the crowds. In the carnival atmosphere people held aloft banners which ranged from combative to comical. “Keep your tiny hands off our NHS” read one. “My mum doesn’t like you and she likes everyone,” said another.
Dawn Hitchen, 49 who had travelled with her daughters from Sussex said:
It’s incredible to us that so much power can be concentrated in the hands of one man who is so uniquely unqualified. He is not competent.
Ruth Hunt, chief executive of LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall said its representatives were out in force. She said:
One of the first things Trump did was ban trans people in the military. We are often the canary in the coal mine so we are here to say not in our name.
We are here, we are queer and we are not going away.
Alexandra Topping (@LexyTopping)
Dawn Hitchen, 49: “It’s incredible to us that so much power can be concentrated in the hands of one man who is so uniquely unqualified. He is not competent. “ #TrumpProtest #BringTheNoise
July 13, 2018

The Financial Times columnist Robert Shrimsley has a good take on Donald Trump’s trade policy intervention.
robert shrimsley (@robertshrimsley)
We are all viewing Trump trade statement as a Brexit intervention. But the bigger picture here is Trump's desire to weaken the EU as a trading block. That's why he told Macron to leave and why he wants UK to do so. This is not an idle aside, it is US trade strategy.
July 13, 2018

Some poor Press Association reporter has had to file copy on Melania Trump playing bowls with Philip May. She is trying valiantly to make it interesting. Here is how it starts ...
First Lady Melania Trump has played bowls with the prime minister’s husband.
Mrs Trump, 48, joined Philip May, 60, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London where she met Chelsea pensioners and local children.
The first lady was wearing a sleeveless dress with wide coloured panels, and towering heels with a red sole which appeared to be by Christian Louboutin.
Accredited members of the press were advised to wear flat shoes to the event, but Mrs Trump’s heels did not stop her from walking on to the bowling green and taking part in the game.
She bowled four times, and smiled as though she was enjoying the activity, while the light breeze blew her hair back from her face.
After one of her bowling attempts, Mrs Trump initiated a high five with a Chelsea pensioner after he gave her effort the thumbs up.
There is a lot more, but you get the picture ...
Melania Trump tries her hand at lawn bowls as Philip May watches during a visit to The Royal Hospital Chelsea
Melania Trump tries her hand at lawn bowls as Philip May watches during a visit to The Royal Hospital Chelsea Photograph: Jason Alden/ Pool/EPA

More messages from readers are flowing in via our callout, with many of you telling us you’re attending demonstrations away from the national march in London.
Kate will be joining a demonstration in Sheffield later this afternoon with her five-year-old son. She says:

I try and teach my children compassion, honesty, respect and integrity – I’ll be marching because one of the most important people in the world, and a supposed role model, ignores all of that and expects to go unchallenged. My five year old is too young to understand immigration policy, party politics or international relations, and I won’t be telling him Donald Trump is evil or anything like that. But I have told him that lots of people think Trump is a bully, and if my little boy can experience thousands of people standing up to a bully I think that will be an invaluable lesson.
Ann Dunn, 67, from Midlothian, is joining a march in Edinburgh. She says:
Trump is an easy target to poke fun at, but he’s a dangerous man. He’s ignorant, intolerant, greedy and powerful and that makes him a serious threat to our democracy. He’s treating world trade as if he’s sitting in the boardroom and he doesn’t understand or care that democratic governments don’t work that way. I have to stand up and be counted. This presidency will end in tears and I want to be able to say I did something, however small. My banner will say “your mother would be disappointed in you”.
Also in Scotland is Mary Melnyk, 63, a joint Canadian/UK citizen living in Glasgow. She says:
I’ll be at the protest here because of Trump’s demeaning tactics, his mocking of disabled people, treatment of gays in the military and of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, and because of his lies and his misogynist and racist rants. How can he be an ally when his own country is being destroyed by his actions and he is blaming everyone else? If Syria or North Korea’s leaders were to visit, I would do the same. He is deserving of the protests and the blimp and should, on a humanitarian level, look at his past and present actions as a president to understand why this is being done.
John Kerridge, 57, and his wife Kamaljit Poonia were on an anti-Trump march in Bristol yesterday and taking part in activities there today. He says:
It’s important to take part because if you stand on the sideline, you’re part of the problem. I want my children and young people everywhere to get a better life. I was part of Rock against Racism in the 70s and 80s, and I don’t want this sort of populist politics. There were 5-6,000 people marching in Bristol city centre on Thursday and it was absolutely beautiful to see the faces of the Muslim community, who were going about their business, seeing mainly white protestors with their anti-fascist and anti-racist banners. You could see on their faces that they felt they weren’t alone.
You can continue to share your views and tell us what you are doing today here or via WhatsApp by adding the contact +44(0)7867825056.

BBC News has now broadcast a longer, and more audible clip of what Theresa May and Donald Trump were saying in their first photocall at Chequers. (It was a “greeting spray”, to use the American press terminology.)
May said that President Trump did “a very good job” at Nato in encouraging other member states to up their military spending. Describing the talks coming up, she said:
We have got a lot to discuss. We are going to be discussing the special relationship, which is great, between the UK and US. We are going to be discussing the real opportunities we have got to have this trade deal coming up when we leave the European Union. And of course we will discuss foreign policy and defence and security issues, where we work really closely together with the US.

Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to London, seems surprised to find copies of the Big Issue, the magazine sold by rough sleepers to help them make money, on the table at Chequers.
Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK)
Meeting with @realDonaldTrump and Prime Minister May - BIG ISSUES on the table!
July 13, 2018

This is from Anthony Gardner, who was US ambassador to the EU under the Obama administration.
Anthony Gardner (@tonylgardner)
Trump’s latest attack, this time against May, is totally unacceptable. Unprecedented to attack ally during state visit. He is out of control and an embarrassment. He is one man wrecking machine. Anyone working for him voluntarily In high office is an accomplice and collaborator.
July 13, 2018
Gardner is wrong about this being a state visit, though; this is a working visit. Trump has been offered a full state visit, but my colleague Patrick Wintour, the Guardian’s diplomatic editor, thinks it will never materialise.
Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour)
Former US Ambassador to EU in Obama administration. PS he is wrong about state visit. Pretty sure the Queen will make sure POTUS never gets one after this performance.
July 13, 2018

Libby Brooks
One fascinating detail in Paul Waugh’s Huffington Post piece about Donald Trump’s negotiating strategy is his hatred for Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Waugh quotes one former staffer who says that Trump frequently takes up time on the phone to Theresa May “bitching about Sturgeon”. The staffer says:
He totally hates Nicola Sturgeon. He spends lots of his time bitching about Sturgeon. He loathes Salmond too. But why spend so much time talking about Sturgeon in a phone call with Theresa May?
Sturgeon has made no secret of her feelings about Trump, in particular condemning his misogyny and Islamophobia. Despite an initially friendly relationship, Trump fell out badly with Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond over the building of his Aberdeenshire golf resort.
Earlier on Twitter, Tricia Marwick, a former presiding officer of the Scottish parliament and a close ally of Sturgeon’s, said what everyone else was thinking.
Tricia Marwick (@TriciaMarwick)
I doubt the FM @NicolaSturgeon will be upset by this.
July 13, 2018
And this is from Angus Robertson, the SNP’s former deputy leader.
Angus Robertson (@AngusRobertson)
Apparently President Trump has a particular dislike of @NicolaSturgeon and @bbclaurak. Unlike PM Theresa May they don't demean themselves and their country by fawning over a racist, misogynist, extremist. #TrumpVisitUK
July 13, 2018
Meanwhile, Sturgeon is putting her free Saturday – since Trump has not asked to meet her – to good use. She’ll be leading the Pride Glasgow march, becoming the first serving first or prime minister to march for LGBTI rights. More than 8,000 marchers and more than 50,000 spectators are expected, although that number may be slightly diminished given the draw of the anti-Trump demos planned in Edinburgh and Turnberry. It’s going to be a busy weekend ...

This is from the White House pool reporter’s report, about who is with Trump at Chequers.
And here’s a list of senior aides seated to Trump’s right
Ambassador Woody Johnson
Chief of staff John Kelly
National security adviser John Bolton
Press secretary Sarah Sanders
Adviser Stephen Miller
NSA adviser Fiona Hill
UPDATE: Trump’s Fiona Hill is not the one who used to work for Theresa May and who virtually ran the country until forced resign after the 2017 general election.

Here’s a live feed from the sky of the anti-Trump protesters if you want to watch the build-up.
This is due to be live until 12.30pm.

Aerial live feed of Trump protests

Sometimes it is a mistake to try reading too much into body language and facial expressions (even though it can be all you have to go on at time), but it is hard not to conclude from the pictures of Donald Trump and Theresa May at Chequers that she is none-too-pleased. This is not the full weapons-grade death stare that May is famous for, but it is not far off.
US President Donald Trump and Theresa May at Chequers in Buckinghamshire
US President Donald Trump and Theresa May at Chequers in Buckinghamshire Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
For our American readers, Chequers is the prime minister’s official country residence. It’s our version of Camp David, only nicer, I think. (I’ve never been, but I’m told the accommodation at Camp David is a bit functional.) It was given to the government after the first world war by a wealth benefactor who thought the prime minister needed a proper country pile “for rest and recreation”. In the 19th century British prime ministers tended to be aristocrats with their own country mansions, but by the 20th century the premiership was opening up to the middle classes and these hard-pressed arrivistes did not have vast estates in the country. Chequers means the British prime minister, at last at weekends, can always live like a toff.

Trump says UK-US relationship is 'very, very strong'

BBC News have just broadcast a clip of President Trump and Theresa May together posting for photographs at Chequers. Trump said:
It’s a very, very productive two days. We arrived here last night. We had a dinner where I think we probably never developed a better relationship than last night. We spoke for an hour or an hour and a half. And it was really something.
And today we’re talking trade, we’re talking military. We looked at some incredible anti-terrorism things that are being done here in conjunction with the United States.
And the relationship is very, very strong. We have a very good relationship. We will do a news conference in a little while and we will answer your questions then. Right now, we’re going to be talking about some other things that are taking place in the Middle East and elsewhere.
A reporter asked a question about the Sun article, but Trump did not reply.

At the Number 10 lobby briefing the prime minister’s spokesperson chose not to directly contradict what President Trump told the Sun about a possible trade deal, my colleague Peter Walker reports.
Peter Walker (@peterwalker99)
No rebuff so far to Trump from No10. Asked about his Brexit comments, May’s spokeswoman says the PM “looks forward to bringing him up to speed on our Brexit thinking”. Beyond that, “let’s let the talks happen”.
July 13, 2018
Peter Walker (@peterwalker99)
One slight contradiction of Trump is on his comments about immigration changing Europe for the worse. Immigrants “come and make a valuable contribution” in UK, May’s spokeswoman says.
July 13, 2018

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