During the Saturday night London terror attacks that killed seven people and wounded dozens more (through an attack on pedestrians with a van and a stabbing attack in a nearby restaurant), President Trump began plugging his revised travel ban in a Twitter-bender that lasted through Sunday morning. Related U.K. investigations are, of course, still ongoing. Police killed three suspects within minutes of the first calls to emergency services, and during early morning raids, authorities arrested twelve more people in connection with the attacks, but Trump decided to keep things strictly political.
The president first retweeted the Drudge Report (although the site had posted unconfirmed information), and the below tweets show how he lashed out at courts for a nationwide freezing of his ban. Trump insisted that his travel ban is needed to protect America, and he also brought up gun control. Here are his relevant tweets, in which he slammed London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s “politically correct” morning address:
As one can imagine, people began to criticize Trump for criticizing Khan. They also drew comparisons to how inappropriate it would have been for a politician like Theresa May to criticize Rudy Giuliani the day after 9/11.
Multiple UK politicians (from both the Conservative and Labour parties) also criticized Trump’s reaction to Khan’s words and suggested that Trump’s upcoming state visit should be cancelled.
Trump’s position, of course, was that Khan was too soft on terror when he reassured London citizens on the morning after the attack. Here’s what Khan actually said with some more context:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.”
Trump ignores both the context and Khan’s prior statement, in which the “appalled” mayor called the terror attacks “deliberate and cowardly” and stated, “There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.” And there’s a strong possibility that Trump wasn’t even aware of Khan’s first statement. After all, his tweets correspond pretty well with Fox and Friends‘ Sunday morning take, and everyone knows that Trump places more value in cable news (especially Fox News) than his security briefings.
Here’s the Fox and Friends Sunday morning episode, queued up to the segment where the hosts discuss Khan’s words almost exactly as Trump tweeted them.
Despite Saturday night’s terror attacks, the Ariana Grande benefit in Manchester is still scheduled for Sunday night following the concert bombing that killed more than 20 people. These incidents follow the March 22 Westminster Bridge attack, in which Khalid Masood killed four people. On Saturday night, police quickly declared that the London attacks were terror-related in nature after the three suspects were killed. CNN also reports that the officers fired an “unprecedented” number of shots (at least 50) because the men were wearing “hoax” suicide belts, and some believe that this points toward a deliberate tactic by the terrorists.
UPDATE: An aide to Mayor Khan says he has “more important things to do” than to pay attention to Trump’s tweets.