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The Trumps are spending the weekend at the President's Scottish golf resort as UK protests continue

Posted: 8:21 AM, Jul 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-14 15:21:19Z

President Donald Trump is spending Saturday at his Turnberry golf resort in southwestern Scotland as protests continue against his visit to the United Kingdom.

A large demonstration got under way Saturday outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, organized by the Scotland United Against Trump group.

Protesters marched through the city past the US Consulate toward the Meadows, a large public park, where a "Carnival of Resistance" is being staged.

A giant "Trump baby" balloon -- which floated outside of the Houses of Parliament in London on Friday morning -- was again inflated at the Meadows.

Protesters of all ages carried signs with messages such as "dump Trump" and "Tweet this!" as they processed peacefully through Edinburgh's streets. Police estimated that roughly 5,000 people had joined the march.

 

Paul Trotter from Edinburgh told CNN: "I think Trump represents everything we try to teach our children is wrong. This is why we are out today. You can't trust him. I wouldn't employ him -- would you?"

Kirsty Haigh, one of main protest organizers, told CNN the demonstration was intended to show that Trump and his policies were not welcome in Scotland -- and that the UK government should not seek to follow his lead.

Haigh added that Trump, whose mother was Scottish, liked to bring up "all his Scottish connections" but that the feeling was not reciprocated. "The idea that we in Scotland appreciate his politics and appreciate him is fairly laughable," she said.

Photos: Scotland protests President Donald Trump's visit

Trump hopes to golf

Trump is staying at his Turnberry property with first lady Melania Trump as he prepares for a summit Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

This portion of the Trumps' trip to Britain is private, and the couple have no scheduled public events. The US President has often spoken of his affection for Scotland.

He tweeted Saturday: "I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf - my primary form of exercise! The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible! Tomorrow I go to Helsinki for a Monday meeting with Vladimir Putin."

As a private citizen, Trump slammed President Barack Obama for hitting the links and made it a campaign issue. However, since being in office himself, Trump has spent more than 100 days at a golf club that bears his name, according to a CNN count.

A BBC reporter, Frankie McCamley, caught footage of what appeared to be Trump golfing as protesters shouted, "No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA." The President seemed to wave at the crowd before turning back to his golf game.

Thousands of protesters turned out Friday in London to voice their anger over Trump's policies, although his itinerary outside the British capital largely kept them from his view.

Anti-Trump protesters also marched in George Square in Glasgow ahead of Trump's arrival in Scotland.

A pro-Trump rally was held Saturday in London near the US Embassy. A number of right-wing figures were expected to speak.

Paragliding protester

On Friday evening, a paragliding protester managed to hover within sight of the President as he admired the view from Trump Turnberry.

Holding a banner proclaiming "TRUMP, WELL BELOW PAR #RESIST," the activist for the environmental campaign group Greenpeace got surprisingly close to the US leader.

Greenpeace tweeted an image with the caption: "We've just delivered a message to @RealDonaldTrump as he was standing outside his hotel in Turnberry watching. #Resist #StopTrump."

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams of Police Scotland said officers were working to find the paraglider. "It is a criminal (offense) to fly within the airspace restriction zone and officers are carrying out (inquiries) to trace the pilot," he said via Twitter.

The US Secret Service said it was working with law enforcement as they investigate the circumstances surrounding the paraglider.

Royal protocol

Trump's actions during the public portion of his trip have also attracted controversy.

At a news conference Friday, he denied he had criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May over her handling of Brexit, a day after The Sun tabloid published an interview with him in which he did just that.

Speaking alongside May after talks at her country residence, Trump dismissed the interview, conducted by a Rupert Murdoch-owned publication, as "fake news," saying it didn't include his comments praising the Prime Minister.

The Sun responded with a front-page headline Saturday declaring, "Fake schmooze."

Some British media outlets -- and members of the public -- also questioned whether the Trumps had breached etiquette when they were greeted by Queen Elizabeth II for tea at Windsor Castle.

Critics said the President should have bowed to her and that the first lady should have curtsied. However, the Queen doesn't expect people to bow to her, least of all foreign heads of state, although many choose to do so anyway as a sign of respect.

Trump also faced social media criticism for walking in front of the Queen as the two inspected a guard of honor of the Coldstream Guards. After he came to a halt, Elizabeth caught up and gestured for him to continue, so that they walked along side by side.

"Trump and the Queen seemed strangely out of step and that tells one that he simply doesn't and won't rehearse," royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told CNN.

Melania Trump tweeted Saturday that it was "an honor to meet and have tea" with the Queen and that she and her husband had enjoyed the visit and the monarch's company "very much."

Tradition dictates that the Queen speak first and initiate any body contact, which at most extends to a handshake. Michelle Obama famously broke this protocol as first lady when she put her arm around the Queen in 2009, although the monarch -- who had placed her own hand on the small of Obama's back -- did not appear to mind.

According to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, Obama had curtsied earlier when they met.

Helsinki preparation

After relaxing at Turnberry, one of two golf resorts he owns in Scotland, Trump will head to Helsinki for a summit that includes a one-on-one meeting with Putin with only interpreters present.

Adding to the pressure at what was already considered a high-stakes meeting, the US Justice Department announced indictments Friday against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he had briefed Trump about the allegations in the indictment earlier in the week.

In a statement, Russia's foreign ministry said there was no basis for the charges and that the purpose of the announcement was to "spoil the atmosphere" before Monday's summit.

Putin has denied election meddling.