Donald Trump's reason for skipping United Kingdom questioned, even by embassy

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Yet on Friday the U.S. embassy in London joined British officials in rebutting his claims.

While the former embassy was on Grosvenor Square, in a tony area of designer boutiques and expensive restaurants, the new building is in a former industrial area south of the Thames that is being redeveloped into a new commercial and residential district.

The deal for the new embassy was struck in 2008 by the administration of George W Bush before Mr Obama came to office.

President Donald Trump said he has called off a planned ceremonial visit to Britain because he didn't want to be associated with what he called a bad real estate deal in which the U.S. Embassy is being relocated from central London to "an off location".

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, who is no fan of Trump, expressed belief, via Twitter, that Trump got the message that he's not welcome in the capital.

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The British government has extended Trump an invitation for a state visit.

"The project has been executed within the established budget", an embassy spokesman said, adding it had "considered more than 50 sites" in London ahead of the move, which cost up to $1billion and "used no tax dollars". In December, Johnson said he was looking forward to welcoming the president.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not reply to a request for comment.

Relations between the United States and its closest ally have been tested repeatedly since Trump took office nearly a year ago.

Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda.

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Still, British officials said their government had been working on the basis that Trump would arrive in late February, though no firm date had been set. That message was echoed by David Lammy, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, who believed Trump was shaken by the prospect of being "met by millions of us out on the streets protesting".

"Beyond the disagreements between leaders and the optics of this cancellation, U.S. -UK relations continue to remain strong - largely because there are a wide range of institutional ties between the nations in military cooperation, intelligence, economics, and commerce that operate as normal despite the political storms that may arise", Mahaffee said.

Some British lawmakers questioned whether Trump would be welcome in London because of previous tweets and criticism of Muslims and his sniping at London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the aftermath of a terror attack in that city a year ago.

A Number 10 source said: "Boris expresses himself in his own inimitable way, but we agree that any risk to the crucial US-UK relationship is not in our country's best interests".

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