Minutes before landing at London's Stansted Airport for a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom, United States President Donald Trump on Monday lashed out at the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in a series of tweets, branding him "a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London," not him.
".@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly "nasty" to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom," the President tweeted.
"He is a stone-cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me. Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!" he added.
Trump, who is expected to enjoy a day of Britain's pomp and pageantry on the first day of his state visit, said Khan reminded him of liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, "only half his height".
The mayor of London had previously compared Trump's use of divisive language with "the fascists of the 20th century", Al Jazeera reported.
Writing in the UK's Observer newspaper on Sunday, Khan said Britain "should not be rolling out the red carpet" for Trump, where a poll showed only 21 per cent of the population had a positive opinion of him with 67 per cent holding a negative view. Khan also labelled the president "one of the most egregious examples of a global threat".
In addition, in an interview with The Sun, published on Saturday, Trump was quoted as saying, "I think I am really - I hope - I am really loved in the UK. I certainly love the UK."
The president also foreshadowed his trip by meddling into the Brexit debacle, suggesting on Sunday that far-right eurosceptic Nigel Farage, who campaigned in the US for Trump's 2016 election, should be a part of European Union withdrawal negotiations.
He also said that the UK should refuse to pay its 39 billion pounds (USD 49 billion) EU divorce bill if there is no Brexit deal with Brussels.
"If they don't get what they want, I would walk away," Trump told the Sunday Times.
"If you don't get a fair deal, you walk away," he further stated.
Gun salutes in Green Park and at the Tower of London greeted Trump upon his arrival here on Monday. The President also inspected the Guard of Honour at Buckingham Palace before preparing for a private lunch with the Queen.
On Monday afternoon, Trump, who pulled the US out of the Paris climate change agreement, also met Prince Charles, who is known to be a passionate environmentalist.
On Monday night, Trump will be the guest of honour at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace, though the event is being boycotted by opposition party leaders. Meanwhile, the President will not be a houseguest at the royal home but will stay at the residence of the US ambassador, a mansion on the edge of Regent's Park.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)