Trump Is 'Thick-Skinned,' Says U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson Amid Threat of Mass Protests in London

President Donald Trump is "very thick-skinned" and will not be deterred by the threat of mass protests when he visits London, England, according to the U.S. ambassador to the U.K.

Trump will travel to London on July 13 for what is billed as a "working visit" instead of a formal state visit. Prime Minister Theresa May had initially offered Trump a state visit after meeting the president at the White House, but it was downgraded after outrage in Britain.

Anti-Trump campaigners in the U.K. are mobilizing for large-scale demonstrations upon his arrival in London for the working visit. "He'll definitely be coming to London," Ambassador Woody Johnson confirmed in an interview on LBC, a radio station in the city, though finer details are yet to be confirmed.

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his Oval Office meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

When asked by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari if Trump is thin-skinned and would be bothered by the protests, Johnson replied: "He's very thick-skinned."

"He knows what he wants to do and he speaks in a very clear and unusual way from most politicians," Johnson continued.

"Most politicians don't lay it out the way he does. And so he's gonna get a lot of criticism for that as people interpret where he's taking everything. But I think in the end, people are starting to—even now—realize that where he's going is a good direction."

Johnson also denied that having a working visit instead of a state visit was a snub. He said Trump is looking for a state visit to Britain in 2019.

Trump had reportedly cancelled a planned working visit to the London in February, during which he was supposed to cut the ribbon on the newly constructed U.S. embassy, over concerns about being met by mass protests.

But Trump said he did not want to open the embassy in person because it had been agreed and built under his predecessor President Obama, and he thought it was a "bad deal" because the old complex in central London had been sold for "peanuts."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said at the time that Trump had "got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city's values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance."

Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, welcomed the news that Trump had confirmed a new date for his visit to London.

"FANTASTIC news that President @realdonaldtrump will at last come to Britain on 13 July. Looking forward to seeing our closest ally and friend on the GREATest visit ever," Johnson tweeted.

But those preparing to oppose Trump's July visit to London warned the president he faces protests against his presidency.

"When Donald Trump arrives on these shores, we and thousands of our supporters will very definitely be making our voices heard," said Kate Allen, the U.K. director of Amnesty International, a human rights group.

"In the 15 months of his presidency, we've seen a deeply disturbing human rights roll-back—including the discriminatory travel ban, his reckless announcement on Jerusalem, and harmful policies on refugees, women's rights and climate change.

"Since moving into the White House, Mr Trump has shown an impatience bordering on intolerance toward peaceful protests, the media and even the democratic process itself.

"So his visit to Britain will be an important opportunity to underline the importance of free speech and the right to protest."

Trump Is 'Thick-Skinned,' Says U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson Amid Threat of Mass Protests in London | U.S.