BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump may find himself with some explaining to do during his visit to the European Union’s de facto capital on Thursday — a place he called a “hellhole” just last year.
While Belgium may be smaller than Maryland and have a population of a little over 11 million, its capital is home to the headquarters of both NATO and the EU. Trump has been a vocal critic of both institutions.
“One thing is for sure, nobody is waiting for President Trump,” said Lawrence Kerknawi, a political consultant who was taking a break from work before the 1,000-strong White House entourage arrived on Wednesday. “People are not excited that he is coming.”
As Trump touched down on Belgian soil, 9,000 demonstrators took to the streets to protest his trip.
The message was clear. “Get the hell out of our hole,” one placard read. Another stated: “Mr. Trump, you are not welcome.”