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Trump says U.S. needs travel ban after London terror attack

Armed police prep up in Borough on June 3 in London, England. Police have responded to reports of a van hitting pedestrians on London Bridge in central London. | Getty

Amid reports of a van mowing down pedestrians, gunfire, stabbings and at least nine dead, the president urges ‘the courts to give us back our rights.’

President Donald Trump on Saturday evening said the United States needs “the travel ban as an extra level of safety” following multiple fatal incidents in London.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety,” the president tweeted at 7:17 p.m.

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Several minutes later he added: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”

Prior to the tweet, Trump retweeted a Drudge Report tweet that said: “Fears of new terror attack after van ‘mows down 20 people’ on London Bridge…”

Police in central London on Saturday were responding to a series of violent incidents, amid reports of gunfire, stabbings and explosions. Police say nine people have died, including three attackers, with dozens injured.

London Bridge was closed after a white van reportedly mounted the pavement at speed at about 10:10 p.m. local time, hitting a number of pedestrians.

Police later confirmed there was a separate incident in Borough Market, on the south side of the river Thames and very close to London Bridge. Armed officers have been dispatched amid reports of gunfire and stabbings from multiple witnesses. Police have confirmed reports of stabbings.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the bridge incident is being treated as a “potential act of terrorism.”

A readout of a phone call between Trump and May sent out by the White House late Saturday says Trump “offered his condolences for the brutal terror attacks on June 3 in central London. He 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.”

Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted Saturday evening: “Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims, courageous first responders & all the people of London. As President Trump said: WE ARE WITH YOU.”

On Thursday, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to revive Trump’s controversial travel ban executive order.

The department asked to temporarily lift injunctions that bar officials from carrying out the directive. The order has been blocked by lower courts. The order suspends visa issuance to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries and halt the flow of refugees to the U.S. from around the world.

The current order is Trump’s second attempt following the first travel ban being blocked as well.

Throughout the campaign cycle, Trump said he would establish a “Muslim ban.” However, his administration has maintained that the executive order is not a ban on Muslims entering the country.

Earlier this week, Trump labeled a shooting incident at a casino in Manila, Philippines, as a terrorist attack. Authorities said the incident was likely a robbery attempt and did not label it as a terrorist attack.

Trump has often tweeted following terrorist attacks. In April, the president tweeted that a shooting on Paris’ Champs Elysées “will have a big effect on presidential election.” Authorities said the attack was “likely terrorist-related.” Following an attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Trump called the attacker an “evil loser” during remarks while he was overseas in Bethlehem.

James Randerson contributed to this report.

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