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After Britain Attack, Trump Unleashes a Twitter Storm

“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days,” Mr. Khan said. “No reason to be alarmed. One of the things, the police, all of us need to do, is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world, but we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.”


Terrorist Attacks at the Center of London

A van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge, and it was reported that people were stabbed at the nearby Borough Market.

Photo by Gabriele Sciotto, via Associated Press. Watch in Times Video »

Mr. Khan’s office later dismissed the president’s post, saying the mayor was too busy to reply. “He has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police — including armed officers — on the streets,” a spokesman for the mayor said in a statement.

A top aide to Mr. Trump added to the criticism of the mayor. Dan Scavino, the president’s director of social media, posted a message referring to Mr. Khan’s criticism of Mr. Trump a year ago for his “ignorant view of Muslims.”

On Saturday night and Sunday morning, in the hours after the attack, Mr. Trump sought to build support for his proposed travel ban on visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, which has been blocked by the courts, and argued that gun control was pointless because terrorists in this case used other weapons.

“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now?” he wrote on Sunday morning. “That’s because they used knives and a truck!”

On Saturday night, he wrote: “We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

Gun control advocates quickly noted that the casualty toll might have been much higher had the attackers had access to high-powered firearms. Britain has some of the world’s strictest regulations on private gun ownership.


How the Attacks in London Unfolded

Three attackers drove a white van into pedestrians on London Bridge on Saturday night before stabbing people at nearby Borough Market.

OPEN Graphic

Mr. Trump called Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain on Saturday night to offer his condolences. A statement from the White House said that the president had “praised the heroic response of police and other first responders and offered the full support of the United States government in investigating and bringing those responsible for these heinous acts to justice.”

It was not the first time a member of the Trump family criticized Mr. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of any major Western capital. In March, after a terrorist attack in London, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, posted a link to an article in Britain’s Independent newspaper from the previous September quoting Mr. Khan about terrorism.

“You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan,” the younger Mr. Trump wrote at the time.

Mr. Trump’s post left the impression that Mr. Khan was minimizing the importance of terrorist attacks. But in fact, he was saying that terrorism was a reality that a big city needed to be prepared to prevent and respond to vigorously.

“Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you’ve got to be prepared for these things, you’ve got to be vigilant, you’ve got to support the police doing an incredibly hard job,” Mr. Khan said.

“That means being vigilant, having a police force that is in touch with communities, it means the security services being ready, but it also means exchanging ideas and best practice,” he was quoted saying.

Asked later during a television interview about the president’s son, Mr. Khan dismissed the post much as his office would do about the president’s tweet two months later. “I’m not going to respond to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr.,” he said on CNN. “I’ve been doing far more important things over the last 24 hours.”

Source: NYT > World

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