On Monday evening, London Mayor Sadiq Khan fired back at President Donald Trump, suggesting that the UK should cancel his planned state visit this fall, saying:
“I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 6, 2017
The comments were widely seen as a rebuke to Trump’s Twitter tirade against Khan in the wake of the London terror attack over the weekend in which Trump portrayed Khan as soft on terror.
In Khan’s initial statement on Sunday morning condemning the attack, Khan said:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”
We are all shocked and angry today – but this is our city. We will never let these cowards win and we will never be cowed by terrorism. pic.twitter.com/o7ZMwg28mv
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 4, 2017
Hours later, Trump twisted Khan’s words out of context:
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
After widely being called out for misrepresenting Khan, Trump doubled down on his initial tweet, claiming that the mainstream media was trying to defend Khan.
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
In the wake of these baseless attacks on Khan, Prime Minister Theresa May is facing increasing calls to cancel Trump’s visit, just days away from Thursday’s UK elections.
Tim Farron, leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, said:
“Sadiq Khan has shown dignity and leadership. Theresa May absolutely must withdraw the state visit. This is a man insulting our national values at a time of introspection and mourning.”
Senior Labour MP echoed that sentiment on Twitter:
You are truly beneath contempt. You are just a troll. Show some bottle please PM. Cancel the state visit and tell Trump where to get off. https://t.co/8gyqbHt0rM
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 5, 2017
After initially expressing her support for Khan, Prime Minister Theresa May told The Sun on Tuesday that Trump’s visit would go on, saying:
“The relationship with America is our deepest and most important defence and security relationship. Having said that, I think Donald Trump is wrong in what he said about Sadiq Khan, in relation to the attack on London Bridge.”
UK’s election is on Thursday, June 8th.