WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is spinning a tall tale about crowd sizes and the protests in London. He’s asserting there have been few protests over his visit to the United Kingdom — though nearby protesters could be heard at 10 Downing Street.
He also falsely said, again, that he predicted Brexit a day before the vote happened.
Here is a look at the claims, in a tweet Wednesday and a news conference Tuesday with British Prime Minister Theresa May:
TRUMP: “I kept hearing that there would be ‘massive’ rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite. The big crowds, which the Corrupt Media hates to show, were those that gathered in support of the USA and me.” — tweet Wednesday
TRUMP: “There were thousands of people (Monday) on the streets cheering. And even coming over today, there were thousands of people cheering and then I heard that there were protests. I said: ‘Where are the protests? I don’t see any protests.’ I did see a small protest today when I came, very small, so a lot of it is fake news, I hate to say. … There was great love. … And I didn’t see the protesters until just a little while ago and it was a very, very small group of people.” — news conference Tuesday
THE FACTS: The protests over Trump’s visit were not “very, very small.”
Thousands of protesters crowded London’s government district, shouting angry chants as he met May nearby. Police erected barricades to stop protesters from marching past the gates of Downing Street, but they could be heard as Trump and May emerged from the prime minister’s official residence for a photo op and before their news conference.
The demonstrators expressed outrage over his lavish welcome and protested him as a danger to the world.
The protests included a giant Trump baby balloon and a robotic likeness of Trump sitting on a golden toilet, cellphone in hand, dubbed “Dump Trump.” The robot made flatulent sounds and recited familiar Trump phrases, including “No collusion” and “You are fake news.”
TRUMP, referring to how he stood at his Scottish golf resort, Turnberry, on the eve of the Brexit referendum and predicted the British would vote to leave the European Union: “I really predicted what was going to happen. Some of you remember that prediction. It was a strong prediction, made at a certain location, on a development we were opening the day before it happened.” — news conference Tuesday
THE FACTS: He did not predict Brexit the day before it happened.
As when he has told this story before, Trump is mixing up his predictions and his days. Three months before the vote, he did predict accurately that Britain would vote to leave the EU. The day after the 2016 vote — not the day before — he predicted from his Scottish resort that the EU would collapse because of Britain’s withdrawal. That remains to be seen.