Donald Trump In UK: Protests Today In London As "Trump Baby" Balloon Takes Flight

Friday, July 13th 2018, 10:30 am
By: News 9

Hordes of demonstrators began to converge in central London on Friday morning, intent on mocking U.S. President Donald Trump on his only full day of business with British leaders on what has been dubbed a "working visit" to the United Kingdom. The visual cornerstone of the anti-Trump protests on Friday -- which include several organized marches by varying groups -- is a giant balloon depicting the U.S. leader as an angry, screaming orange baby in a diaper, clutching a cell phone with Twitter on the screen.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has clashed for months on Twitter with Mr. Trump, had to give the final approval for "Trump baby" to fly. Mr. Trump has acknowledged that he feels unwelcome in the British capital, suggesting it was part of the reason he wasn't spending much time there during his U.K. visit.

"Trump baby," as the balloon is known, will be flown high over Parliament Square in London, but Mr. Trump is spending the day miles away from the center of the British capital -- and the protesters -- in meetings with Prime Minster Theresa May and then later with Queen Elizabeth II.

Tens of thousands are expected march through the streets of London to protest the American leader's visit to the U.K., his policies on issues ranging from immigration and race relations to women and climate change.

Public anger over Mr. Trump's visit has already had consequences. Just a week after his inauguration, Prime Minister Theresa May invited the president for a state visit, the type of event that normally includes glittering horse-drawn carriages and a state dinner hosted by the monarch.

But as CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported, this is not the grand visit he was originally promised -- it is a much delayed, much diminished "working visit," most of it planned for outside of central London, where the protesters have prepared their own special welcome.

Leo Murray, who calls himself "Trump baby's" daddy, told Phillips that the 20-foot-high protest balloon design was chosen deliberately because Mr. Trump, "is uniquely vulnerable to personal insults, so we just got right down at his level, to speak to him in a language that he understands."

Murray, grandson of a former Labor Party parliamentarian, has a history of leading protests but says the balloon idea emerged one afternoon at a pub with friends.

Mr. Trump declared on Thursday in Brussels that, "I think they like me a lot in the U.K."

According to recent surveys by non-partisan British polling organization YouGov, only 11 percent of Britons said they thought Mr. Trump was a "great" or "good president." By contrast, 67 percent said they believed he was a "poor" or "terrible president."

As Phillips says, on the whole, the U.S. leader may not get the reception in Britain that he had hoped for.