NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, said that President Donald Trump sounded “delusional” when he told reporters at a Tuesday press conference that there were “thousands of people in the street cheering” his presence in the United Kingdom.
Trump was met with protesters this week as he toured London with members of the British royal family and U.K. political leaders as part of an official state visit. Speaking to reporters alongside U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, the president said he saw thousands cheering during his first two days in London.
“I didn’t see any protests,” Trump said. “I did see a small protest today when I came ― very small. So a lot of it is fake news, I hate to say.”
Engel, who has been covering the protesters, told NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday that as he listened to the president describe cheering crowds welcoming him in London, it sounded like he and Trump were in different cities.
“That sounded to be somewhat delusional,” Engel said. “Instead we’ve seen people quite boisterously expressing their opposition to President Trump. They say they don’t want him here and they’re upset the British government has rolled out the red carpet.”
During an appearance on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC show the same day, Engel elaborated on the “troubling” nature of Trump’s false claim.
“There’s something deeply disturbing about President Trump claiming that he saw ‘thousands of people’ here who were celebrating him and welcoming his arrival,” the journalist said. “There were thousands of people on the streets. They were protesting Trump, not celebrating his arrival.”