President Trump has canceled a planned trip to Ireland, the Irish government said Tuesday, amid promises of demonstrations to protest his climate policies, international relations and treatment of immigrants, women and minorities.
The visit had been projected for November, when Trump is scheduled to be in Europe for a French commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“We can confirm that the proposed visit of the U.S. president is postponed,” said Laura Durkan, a spokeswoman for Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. “The U.S. side has cited scheduling reasons.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump still plans to travel to Paris. “We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip,” she said. “As details are confirmed we will let you know.”
The cancellation was first reported by the Irish Independent newspaper, which noted that political parties including Labor and the Greens had planned to protest the president’s Nov. 12 visit to Dublin. Additional protests were planned in Dublin and other Irish cities.
The White House had announced the visit on Aug. 31, taking Varadkar by surprise.
“It came a little bit out of the blue,” Varadkar said in an interview on RTE Radio One earlier this month. “We hadn’t known until just a couple of days ago that he was going to take the opportunity,” he said.
When the trip was announced, Ireland’s Labor Party tweeted that Ireland is “an open and tolerant nation. Trump’s values are not our values, and there should be no welcome mat laid out for a man of his worldview.”
The tweet included a photo whose caption said “the invitation to Trump is unnecessary, unwelcome & unwise.”
Labor Party leader Brendan Howlin tweeted that Trump “has been no friend of democracy or human rights.”
“We will always be firm friends of the American people, but Ireland will not welcome a man with Trump’s record of discrimination, sexism and lies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russian media reported Tuesday that Trump may meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the same European trip that had included the planned Ireland visit.
The meeting would apparently be on the sidelines of the World War I Armistice Day ceremonies on Nov. 11.
“An invitation was made, which is being considered,” the Tass news agency quoted Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov as telling reporters. “I can only say that Trump has accepted the invitation. This is all; the meeting is under consideration as there is still time left,” he said.
The meeting would be a follow-up to the stand-alone summit between Trump and Putin in July. That summit, in Helsinki, Finland, led to widespread criticism that Trump was overly deferential to Putin and had not challenged him about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.