Huge protests in London as Donald Trump visits, meets Queen Elizabeth II
LONDON -- Hordes of demonstrators converged in central London on Friday, intent on mocking U.S. President Donald Trump on his only full day of business with British leaders on what was dubbed a "working visit" to the United Kingdom. The visual cornerstone of the anti-Trump protests -- which included several organized marches by varying groups -- was a giant balloon depicting the U.S. leader as an angry, screaming orange baby in a diaper, clutching a cellphone with Twitter on the screen.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has clashed for months on Twitter with Mr. Trump, had to give the final approval for "Trump baby" to fly. Mr. Trump has acknowled ged that he feels unwelcome in the British capital, suggesting it was part of the reason he didn't spend much time there during his U.K. visit.
"Trump baby," as the balloon is known, was flown high over Parliament Square in London, but Mr. Trump spent the day miles away from the center of the British capital -- and the protesters -- in meetings with Prime Minster Theresa May and then later with Queen Elizabeth II.
Tens of thousands were expected to march through the streets of London to protest the American leader's visit to the U.K., his policies on issues ranging from immigration and race relations to women and climate change.
But as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported, this was not the grand visit he was originally promised -- it was a much delayed, much diminished "working visit," most of it planned away from the protesters' own special welcome.
Leo Murray, who calls himself "Trump baby's" daddy, told Phillips that the 20-foot-high protest balloon design was chosen deliberately because Mr. Trump, "is uniquely vulnerable to personal insults, so we just got right down at his level, to speak to him in a language that he understands."
Murray, grandson of a former Labour Party parliamentarian, has a history o f leading protests but says the balloon idea emerged one afternoon at a pub with friends.
Mr. Trump declared on Thursday in Brussels that, "I think they like me a lot in the U.K."
According to recent surveys by non-partisan British polling organization YouGov, only 11 percent of Britons said they thought Mr. Trump was a "great" or "good president." By contrast, 67 percent said they believed he was a "poor" or "terrible president."
As Phillips says, on the whole, the U.S. leader didn't get the reception in Britain that he had hoped for.
Follow along for updates on Friday's protests and President Trump's visit to Britain:
Trump arrives in Scotland for weekend at golf course
President Trump has arrived in Scotland, where he will spend the weekend at one of his private golf courses.
Aides say Mr. Trump will be spending the weekend preparing for his Monday summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
But knowing Mr. Trump, it's likely safe to assume he'll also be playing some golf.
Mr. Trump owns two championship-level golf courses in Scotland, including the seaside Trump Turnberry on Scotland's west coast.
He last visited Scotland in 2016, where he held a press conference commending the Brexit vote and took reporters on a tour by golf cart.
Mr. Trump is the first modern U.S. leader to maintain ownership and control over his private enterprises while in office, sparking concerns from ethics watchdogs. Mr. Trump has already twice referenced the club publicly during his visit to Europe.
U.K. opposition leader: "We're united in our hope"
U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those wh o spoke at an anti-Trump rally in London's Trafalgar Square, which organizers said over 100,000 people attended, CBS News' Haley Joelle Ott reports. CBS News was unable to independently verify that number.
Protesters had been marching all day against President Trump's visit to the U.K. Smaller demonstrations took place at other locations across the country.
"Together, here in London and around this country, our message to our visitor is we're united in our hope for a world of justice, not division, we're united in our hope to end racism and misogyny, we're united in hope for all our diversity," Corbyn told a crowd of protesters.
Corbyn's speech came hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May met with Mr. Trump. Their talks came the day after the president blasted May's Brexit policy, among other things, in an interview with Britain's Sun newspaper.
May faces the challenge of balancing high disapproval of the U.S. president in her country with the need to maintain good relations with the U.S. ahead of the U.K's departure from the European Union.
Trump meets Queen Elizabeth II
President Trump and first lady Melania are at Windsor Castle, east of London, this afternoon to meet Queen Elizabeth II. The president arrived on board his Marine One helicopter to the castle grounds just before 12 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. British time).
The British monarch was already w aiting for him in a tent set up in a central courtyard or quadrangle at the ancient castle, in front of a formation of Cold Stream Guards, one of Britain's oldest Army units, who were to perform a "Trooping of the Color" ceremony for the heads of state.
As CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reported earlier today, Mr. Trump has expressed great admiration for the British monarch, and said both he and Melania were eager to meet her.
The first couple were driven into the castle quadrangle in one of the royal family's Land Rovers, and then then stood on either side of the monarch with their hands on their chests as the U.S. National Anthem was belted out British military brass.
Mr. Trump and the queen walked along a lineup of the Cold Stream Guards, "inspecting" the troops, before turning to head back to the shade of the the tent where Melania was waiting.
The soldiers marched out of the quadrangle in tight formation, and th en the fist couple and Queen Elizabeth into the confines of the castle -- where no cameras are allowed in, and as D'Agata reports, no information is allowed out; details of discussions with Britain's monarch are always strictly off the record.
The Trumps are to have tea with the queen after the military ceremony, but they are not being treated to the full regalia and pageantry of an official state visit, usually including a formal banquet. That was the original invite extended by Prime Minister Theresa May just after Mr. Trump took office, but widespread public opposition to such an honor saw the trip downgraded to what has been dubbed a "working visit."
Mr. Trump is the 11th sitting U.S. President that Queen Elizabeth II has met during her 66-year reign.
Trafalgar Square: Protest Ground Zero
Thousands of protesters have massed on London's iconic Trafalgar Square as a day of demonstrations against U.S. President Donald Trump's first official visit to the U.K. culminates. Organizers have claimed about 100,000 people showed up to protest Mr. Trump's visit, twice as many as were expected, but London's Metropolitan Police have not confirmed the crowd size.
Even half that, 50,000, would be the biggest weekday protest in London's streets since demonstrations against the Iraq war in 2003.
CBS News' Haley Joelle Ott says protest leaders are urging those already in Trafalgar Square to fill up empty spaces and make room for others who are on their way.
Helicopters buzzed overhead as the crowds cheered speakers. A huge sign was draped over a wall on the steps up to London's National Gallery of art, which faces the square, reading "BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS."
"It's nice to see so many people gathered for one cause," protester Rania Belarbi told CBS News. "We're all gathered for love, for equality, for togetherness, so that's a great message that we're sending out to the world."
Pro-Trump protesters show up
Tensions have flared as a small group of pro-Donald Trump demonstrators exchanged chants with anti-Trump protesters near London's Trafalgar Square.
"We love Trump!" about 10 demonstrators chanted as police officers standing shoulder to shoulder kept the two opposing groups apart.
The anti-Trump protesters, of whom there were dozens at the location, responded with chants of "Fascists go home!"
So far Friday's demonstrations in London have remained peaceful, reports CBS News' Haley Joelle Ott.
Tens of thousands are expected to gather later in Trafalgar Square for what is anticipated to be one of the largest protests since the marches in London against the Iraq War in 2003.
Mini-Trump soars... low
A smaller version of the no infamous "Trump baby" balloon, which London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave permission to fly over Parliament Square on Friday morning, made an appearance among the throngs of protesters later in the day.
"We took some of the hot air out of bigger Donald, some of the narcissism, some of the fascism, and a little bit of the xenophobia," Barny Francis, one of the people holding the smaller balloon down with tether ropes told CBS News' Haley Ott as he marched. "We put it into this smaller version of him, Francis continued.
"So he's still full of hot gas, it's just a little version of him now. This is mini-Donald," he said, adding that the larger balloon was on a "secret mission."
Francis and his companions wore red jumpsuits an hats emblazoned with a slogan declaring them "Trump Babysitters."
"Pro-America, anti-Donald Trump"
"We are pro-America, anti-Donald Trump," Catherine Murgatroyd told CBS News as she marched in ce ntral London on Friday to protest President Trump's visit to Britain.
Murgatroyd travelled from Portsmouth on England's south coast to London with her daughter to participate in the protests. She helped hold up one side of an oversized sign reading "UK REJECTS TRUMP!!" as she and thousands of others marched toward Parliament Square in the heart of the city.
"We think it's important that the U.K. stand up against someone with a lack of morals like Donald Trump," Murgatroyd told CBS News' Haley Ott. She said she wanted to communicate to Mr. Trump, "that he's not welcome. That we don't tolerate people with a disregard for human rights."
Thousands were converging in Parliament Square as a second protest march, expected to be the larger of the two on Friday, was heading toward Trafalgar Square to hold a rally later in the evening.
Speaking with PM May
President Trump is holding a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Teresa May in the middle of his trip to the United Kingdom. Mr. Trump's visit to Britain is sandwiched between the Brussels NATO summit, where he blasted allies over defense spending and trade, and ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
The president and May met before the press conference at her country residence Chequers, and in a photo opportunity with reporters, Mr. Trump said that they had wo rked hard together at the NATO summit and declared that NATO has never been more united.
The two leaders did not address his comments to the Sun newspaper, in which he blasted May's blueprint for Britain's exit from the European Union, during the photo op, though a pool reporter asked about the interview.
"The relationship is very strong," Mr. Trump said. He also said they "probably never developed a better relationship than last night," during their dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
Trump and the queen
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will sit down later Friday with Queen Elizabeth II for their first official visit with the monarch. She has met nearly every one of the last 12 U.S. presidents.
Mr. Trump has said he is looking forward to meeting the queen, whom he described as an "incredible woman," at Windsor Castle.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata says that while Her Majesty the queen and the current U.S. president may have very different personalities, royal biographer Robert Hardman doesn't see any problems ahead for their encounter.
"They actually have quite a lot in common. They've both got Scottish mothers, they both own fairly large parts of Scotland -- in her case Balmoral, in his case two golf courses -- and she's used to dealing with the most appalling despots, monsters, crooks, dictators," ; Hardman said. "I think they're going to get on great."
Stick with CBSNews.com and CBSN for live coverage of the Trumps' visit with the queen from about noon Eastern.
Michael Avenatti joins anti-Trump protest
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn actress and presidential antagonist Stephanie Clifford, or Stormy Daniels as she is more commonly known, was in London on Friday to participate in the Women's March p rotesting Mr. Trump's visit to the U.K.
"I think the president's visit is like a lot of things the president does; It's insufficient," Avenatti told CBS News' Haley Joelle Ott on the noisy streets of central London. "He's trying to avoid the protests because he wants to bury his head in the sand and doesn't want to look at what's really going on and face the facts," he said."At some point this president needs to step up or step out," Avenatti asserted.
"I think that this march in particular deals with a lot of the issues that we talk about in Stormy's case, and I think it deals significantly with the issues that I'm dealing with day in and day out, as it relates to some of these mothers who have been separated from their children from the southern border of the United States... The bottom line is these families need to be reunited yesterday."
"To say someone resisted"
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Portland Place in central London on Friday morning ahead of the first of two large protests planned in the capital, where tens of thousands are expected to demonstrate against President Trump's first visit to the United Kingdom as U.S. leader.
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer says as many as 50,000 protesters were expected to take to London's streets on Friday, which would make it the biggest weekday demonstration i n the British capital in 15 years.
"We just wanted to really highlight the fact that many citizens are not happy with the divisive rhetoric that has been coming out of the Trump-Pence administration," protest organizer Huda Jawad told CBS News's Haley Joelle Ott.
"I'm a woman. I'm a woman of color. I came to this country as a refugee... I also have two boys," she said. "They're growing up in an increasingly uncomfortable, unsafe world and environment, and I wanted to do this for them."
After Mr. Trump derided London's Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan as being soft on terrorism, among other things, in an interview published Thursday with the Sun newspaper, Jawad said she was also determined to demonstrate against, "these policies, the rhetoric of racism, misogyny, caging children, regressing in terms of gender rights and human rights, the appalling way in which the environment is being treated by the administration. "
Her aim in protesting, she told CBS News, was "to say someone resisted, and not on our watch."
"Very good relationship"
Speaking Friday next to British Prime Minister Theresa May at her official country residence outside of London, President Donald Trump insisted the two had bonded more than ever before over dinner the previous evening. He lauded the U.S.-U.K. relationship as "very, very strong. We really have a very good relations hip."
His remarks came about 12 hours after British tabloid the Sun published an interview with the U.S. leader in which he lambasted her plan for a "soft" exit from the European Union, saying Mrs. May's Brexit blueprint would "probably kill" hopes of a bilateral trade deal going forward. He also lauded May's top political rival, Boris Johnson, whom he said would make a good prime minister.
Both the White House and Prime Minster May's office have been at pains since Mr. Trump's harsh rhetoric emerged to stress that relations remain cordial.
"The prime minister has a good relationship with the president," May's spokeswoman said on Friday.
May and Mr. Trump shook hands and spoke briefly to reporters Friday morning at Chequers before going behind closed doors for meetings that Mr. Trump said would focus on trade, military cooperation and events in the Middle East.
Mr. Trump said, in spite of the S un interview emerging as they sat down together for a formal dinner on Thursday night, that he and May had bonded like never before over the course of the meal.
Heading out of London
As the "Trump baby" balloon slowly took flight on Friday morning, climbing at first just several yards off the ground, President Trump left the U.S. ambassador's mansion in London with first lady Melania Trump to visit the renowned Sandhurst Military Academy, south of the city. Melania diverged after their departure and instead of Sandhurst, went to meet British veterans at the Royal Chelsea Hospital and residence in central London dedicated to them.
After observing a joint counter-terrorism exercise there with Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr. Trump is to hold afternoon meetings with May -- guaranteed to be tense after the publication of an interview in which Mr. Trump ridiculed May's plans for Brexit and lauded her political rival Boris Johnson -- at the PM's official rural residence, Chequers.
CBS News partner network BBC News reported Friday morning that British government ministers were on damage control following the release of Mr. Trump's interview with the Sun tabloid, with many suggesting they looked forward to further explaining the government's stance on exiting the European Union.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond, Britain's chief banker and a member of May's cabinet, told the BBC on Friday that Mr. Trump probably "hasn't yet had a chance" to study the detail of the proposed Brexit plan from May, and that she looked forward to explaining it in their meetings.
Sam Gyimah, a junior member of government and Mrs. May's own Conservative Party, was less reserved, however, asking succinctly in a tweet on Friday, "Where are your manners, Mr. President?" < /ul>Source: Google News United Kingdom | Netizen 24 United Kingdom