President Trump has been frantically looking for money to cut from the federal budget so he can brag to his supporters that he has reduced the debt by some nominal amount. We most recently found out Trump would be making cuts to the Coast Guard, FEMA, and airport security in order to fund the border wall. A previous announcement that the State Department budget would be cut by 33% in order to make room for a bloated military budget now has consequences – the White House has in effect been shut down to foreign tourists.
The Trump Administration announced to foreigners that if they want to tour the White House they should contact their respective embassies. In response, embassies have said effectively there are no tours of the White House available.
Via the Independent: According to the official White House statement, visitors from the UK and elsewhere can apply for places, saying: “If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.”
But the British Embassy in the US capital quickly repudiated the announcement, citing the State Department: “The White House website states that foreign nationals interested in touring the White House should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour.”
“However, the Embassy has been advised by the US Department of State that this is on hold.”
“We are therefore unable to process any applications at this time.”
A father from west London, Julian Eccles, visited the White House during the Obama administration with his elder son in 2009, and expressed disappointment not to be able to repeat the experience with his younger son on a similar trip this year.
“There seems to be a rupture in White House-State Department relations here,” he said.
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