US ambassador to Britain says Trump attack on Theresa May was about ’protecting Americans’

US President Donald Trump’s attack on British Prime Minister Theresa May on tackling terrorism was about protecting Americans and the whole transatlantic row over his sharing of anti-Muslim videos online was probably misinterpreted, the United States ambassador to the UK has said.

US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, said the US president was not "namby-pamby" in his commitment to dealing with radical Islamist terror and would "take some chances" to achieve his goal.

He said he still expects and hopes Mr Trump will visit the UK in 2018 despite the extraordinary diplomatic flare-up.

Mr Trump was rebuked last month by Mrs May for retweeting a series of inflammatory anti-Muslim videos originally posted online by the deputy leader of the far right Britain First group.

When he hit back in a trademark tweet telling the PM to "focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism" in the UK, he sparked an outcry from MPs who demanded an apology and a cancellation of his planned state visit.

Discussing the row, Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "I think a lot of that stuff was probably misinterpreted."

He went on: "I think the way I would look at it and I think the way he looks at it is - security is his number one oath when he took the oath of office, it’s protecting Americans, it’s protecting Americans here and the US, that’s number one, and that’s my number one as well.

"And so if you look at the context of that, that’s what he’s trying to do.

"Is he perfect and appeasing everybody?"

He added: "Going back to his true feelings and what he’s trying to accomplish, he wants to protect Americans and he’s doing his best to do that, he’s not going to go down the path of a lot of politicians and maybe be namby-pamby about it.

"I mean he’s gonna come out, he’s gonna probably take some chances in an effort to do that, to accomplish that security goal.

"Maybe he’ll ruffle feathers, there’s no question that maybe some feathers were ruffled with that."

Asked if he was expecting Mr Trump to visit in the New Year, Mr Johnson said: "Absolutely, I think he will come, I hope he will come."

Labour MP Stella Creasy called for the president’s trip to be cancelled and said she would protest against his visit if it goes ahead by wearing "shocking pink" in solidarity with women’s marches in the US.

She told the programme: "Certainly I think we can echo what the protesters have done in America.

"I’ll be wearing shocking pink if Donald Trump comes to Britain to show my support for the women’s march and recognising that, for goodness sake, this country wouldn’t let Martha Stewart in because we said it wasn’t conducive to the public good.

"What does Donald Trump have to do? How much damage does he have to do to security, to tension in our communities before our Prime Minister says actually the special relationship means enough for us to say ’not now’."

Labour MP Stella Creasy

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "As the Mayor of London I have previously called on Theresa May to cancel her ill-judged offer of a state visit to President Trump.

"After the latest incident - where President Trump used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country - it is clear that any official visit here would not be welcomed.

"London is a beacon of diversity. It is one of our strengths. Many of us love America and Americans but President Trump has on a number of occasions shown his views are inconsistent with the values Londoners hold dear."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted:


 

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