NATO summit: Leaders gather in London for anniversary meeting

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Donald Trump is a very unpopular man in the UK. Which is unfortunate, given he’s here for the next couple of days for a meeting of NATO leaders.

Visits of the US President are hard to predict, but Trump’s last two trips to Britain followed a pattern.

First, there’s the build-up, in which political groups across the spectrum announce their plans to protest against Trump as soon as he sets foot on British soil.

Then there’s the President’s obligatory dig at Sadiq Khan, the popular Mayor of London, over the city’s knife crime epidemic. He might skip that tradition this time, given the deadly terror attack that took place in London last week. But his dislike of Khan is profound, and it could be too tempting.

There’s usually a “surprise” newspaper interview, in which he sticks his nose into British politics and offends a major political figure. That’s often followed by a press conference where he tries to clean up the mess, but usually just ends up tying himself in a knot of contradictions.

The visits are usually more of a spectacle than anything else. This time, however, Trump lands just a few days before the UK holds what could be the most important general election in the nation’s postwar history. And any unexpected grenades Trump chooses to hurl could have consequences beyond a two-day political storm and affect the outcome of an actual election.

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