Photo: Ron Sachs, Pool / Getty Images

President Trump confirmed via a tweet late Thursday night a Daily Mail report that he cancelled a planned trip to London in February to open the newly-built United States embassy:

What's wrong with his claims:

  • The plan to move the embassy to its new south-of-the-Thames location was announced in October 2008, primarily due to security concerns with the old site — before Barack Obama was elected president.
  • The cash for the new project was not appropriated, having been funded entirely by the sale of existing U.S. properties in London. The old embassy’s estimated value was severely reduced after the Eero Saarinen-designed building was given historic protected status by the United Kingdom, per the Guardian, restricting what its new Qatar-based developers could do with the building.
  • One more thing: the U.S. doesn’t own the land on which the old embassy sits — as it was a gift leased from the Duke of Westminster.

Another theory: Many British press outlets, like The Telegraph, have speculated that Trump is unhappy that his planned visit to the U.K. was downgraded from a "state visit" to a "working visit" after his controversial comments regarding terrorist attacks in London and Manchester last year. That meant that his trip would not feature many of the most prominent "bells and whistles," like an official visit to meet Queen Elizabeth II via a carriage ride parade.

Reactions from prominent British politicians:

The reaction from Downing Street: "The U.S. is one of our oldest and most valued allies. We have a strong and deep partnership that will endure.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan:

Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband:

Some on the right sided with Trump like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, though a Downing Street spokesperson refused to say whether Johnson was speaking in an official capacity for Theresa May's government:

Former UKIP leader and Trump pal Nigel Farage also backed Trump on BBC Radio 4: “It is disappointing. He has been to countries all over the world and yet he has not been to the one with whom he is closest. I would say it is disappointing. Maybe, just maybe, Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn’t like the look of.”

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.