Trump's fight with London mayor perplexes his critics

President Donald Trump speaks during the Ford's Theatre Annual Gala at the Ford's Theatre in Washington Sunday
President Donald Trump speaks during the Ford's Theatre Annual Gala at the Ford's Theatre in Washington Sunday
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10 June, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said her United States counterpart's tweet about London Mayor Sadiq Khan immediately after last weekend's terror attack was "wrong".

Mr Trump first attacked the London mayor just hours after three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a knife rampage through Borough Market, killing seven and injuring 48.

When the British press ridiculed Trump's out-of-context quote, the president returned to Twitter to accuse the media of buying the mayor's "pathetic excuse".

This time, Trump took a dig at London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan told broadcaster Channel 4 that Britain should not "roll out the red carpet" for Trump, while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said May "must withdraw the state visit". "When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate". "You need to be about 9 years old in your social development to understand when your neighbor, friend, brother, sister - which is what the British are to us - have suffered a great tragedy, the only decent response is to say, 'I'm terribly sorry and how can I help'". "I'm not tangoing with this guy", Khan said of Trump. As well as mocking Khan, Trump sought to turn the London attacks to domestic political advantage by renewing his call to ban travel from some Muslim-majority countries. The mayor had told London residents not to be concerned by a stepped-up police presence in the city after the incident.

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Although Khan responded to past attacks from the president, he denied doing so this week, with his office saying that the mayor "has more important things than responding to Donald Trump's ill-informed tweet". She also pushed back against criticism that the president had mischaracterized Khan's remarks, saying that "the media wants to spin it that way". "MSM [Mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!"

President Trump's Twitter account may be popular among his fans at home, but his latest missives are complicating the work of American diplomats overseas.

Asked if Mr Trump's official trip to Britain will go ahead, Mrs May said: "Yes". "And I think that's what [my father is] trying to say because he's been proven right every time". After his election previous year, Khan tweeted criticism of then-candidate Trump's rhetoric, saying his "ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe".

In an appearance on NBC's "Today Show", Conway said people in England had tried to inform authorities about the suspects before the attacks happened.


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