In January 2018, Trump took to Twitter to announce he was calling off a planned ceremonial visit to Britain because he was “not a big fan” of the real estate deal in which America sold its embassy to move to a new building in south London — an area described by Trump as an “off location.”
While Trump called the U.S. Embassy relocation a “bad deal” and listed it as the reason behind his canceled visit, many Brits who had planned mass protests across the capital believe that they had scared him away.
At the time, London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who has frequently sparred with the president, tweeted that Trump had finally got the message that he wasn’t welcome on British soil.
While Trump blamed the Obama administration for the sale, it was actually the administration of George W. Bush that decided to relocate the embassy.
Despite canceling his first planned trip, Trump has made it to Britain twice since then. On his first working visit, which came in July of last year, thousands protested him at a “Stop Trump” rally in the capital and an inflatable balloon depicting him as an orange baby flew alongside the Houses of Parliament.
On his second visit which took place this summer, Trump called Khan a “stone cold loser” before he had even set foot on British soil. He was then met with more angry protests and the baby blimp once again.
Trump canceled his first trip to Latin America as president in April 2018. The cancellation came ahead of a summit of the Americas in Peru. The White House said at the time that the president needed to remain in the United States to monitor developments after a suspected chemical attack in Syria.
Trump had been expected to deliver a policy speech in Peru that a senior administration official had said would advance his priorities for U.S. national security and “peace through strength.”
“The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world,” Sarah Sanders said while confirming that Vice President Pence would travel to the summit instead.
As reported by The Washington Post last year, the scrapping of Trump’s trip took some aides, who had expected him to stick to his schedule, by surprise.
U.S. cemetery in France
In November 2018, Trump flew to Paris for ceremonies to honor the military sacrifices made in World War I. The first stop for the president and first lady was a visit to France’s Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, marking the brutal Battle of Belleau Wood.
Trump was due to take the presidential helicopter Marine One to the memorial but the trip was canceled by the White House due to rainy weather that had allegedly caused “near-zero visibility” — although the conditions did not prevent world leaders including Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Germany’s Angela Merkel from visiting other sites around the French capital.
Many were unimpressed with Trump’s failure to visit the cemetery — including the French army who appeared to troll the president on Twitter some days later.
“There is rain, but it does not matter,” the French army tweeted, alongside a photo of a rain-soaked recruit crawling through an obstacle. “We remain motivated.”
David Frum, who served as a speechwriter to President George W. Bush, also vented his frustration in a series of tweets.
“It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary — and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” he said.
Earlier this year, Trump canceled his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, citing the partial U.S. government shutdown as the reason for him needing to be in Washington.
“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully canceling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump tweeted at the time.
While not attending the conference meant that Trump was unable to discuss global issues with other politicians, he was not the only world leader to skip Davos because of unraveling situations at home.
Theresa May, who was Britain’s prime minister at the time of the conference, also missed the event so she could handle Brexit — something the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, is now having to deal.
France’s Emmanuel Macron also stayed home to address the “yellow vest” protesters while India’s Narendra Modi skipped the event to prepare for the general election that he went on to win in May.