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Trump’s rocky relationship with British leaders hits another bump

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Trump's rocky relationship with British leaders hits another bump

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WATCH Trump's war of words with UK leaders

President Donald Trump is testing the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.

Both British Prime Minister Theresa May and London mayor Sadiq Khan have criticized Trump's retweets of videos originally shared by the leader of Britain First, a far-right organization widely condemned as an extremist group that targets Muslims.

Trump isn't taking the British lawmakers' condemnations without firing back. And this isn't the first time that he's tested the waters with these leaders specifically.

Here, a recap of their past war of words:

After a terror attack

On June 3, seven people were killed after a vehicle plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge, followed by the attackers launching a knife attack in London's Borough Market.

Following the attack, Trump tweeted, "WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!"

His attacks on Khan, however, came the next day. During an interview with the U.K.'s Sky News, Khan was asked how authorities can stop future attacks in the city.

PHOTO: British forensic experts stand next to the van and a forensic tent in Finsbury Park, after a van hit worshipers in north London, June 19, 2017.Facudo Arrizabalga/EPA
British forensic experts stand next to the van and a forensic tent in Finsbury Park, after a van hit worshipers in north London, June 19, 2017.

A timeline of the tensions between Donald Trump and London Mayor Sadiq Khan How Trump's retweets about Muslims could thwart his travel ban

The mayor explained that law enforcement agencies' tactics were "evolving" to meet the changing nature of terrorist attacks and that the city's police force would be more visible in the short term.

"Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed," said Khan.

Trump tweeted later about the response to the attacks, and in the second tweet, referenced Khan's interview.

"We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart it will only get worse," he wrote in the first tweet.

We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don't get smart it will only get worse

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017

"At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'" Trump wrote in the second tweet.

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

A spokesman for Khan responded to the president's posts, saying that Khan was busy coordinating law enforcement and emergency services to respond to the attack.

"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," said the spokesman.

PHOTO: Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, appears at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton, U.K., on Sept. 25, 2017.Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, appears at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton, U.K., on Sept. 25, 2017.

The following day, Trump responded to the spokesperson, not putting the feud to an end.

"Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement," Trump tweeted June 5. "MSM is working hard to sell it!" he wrote on Twitter on June 5."

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

Later in the day, Khan rolled his eyes and sighed when asked by Channel 4 News what he thought about the back and forth with the U.S. president.

"I just haven't had the time to respond to tweets from Donald Trump," said Khan.

Prime Minister May weighed in on the spat on June 7.

"The relationship with America is our deepest and most important defence and security relationship," she told British tabloid newspaper The Sun.

"Having said that, I think Donald Trump is wrong in what he said about Sadiq Khan, in relation to the attack on London Bridge," May told the paper.

After the retweets

Trump retweeted three videos purporting to show instances of Muslim people being violent, and because the videos were originally posted by the leader of a British far-right group, May's office was asked to weigh in.

May's spokesman, James Slack, said the group Britain First uses "hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions."

Slack said "it is wrong for the president" to have shared the videos.

Trump went back to Twitter to respond, writing "@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!"

The first version of his tweet included the handle for the non-official Twitter account belonging to the British prime minister.

[email protected]_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017

PHOTO: British Prime Minister Theresa May is pictured with President Donald Trump at The White House on Jan. 27, 2017 in Washington.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
British Prime Minister Theresa May is pictured with President Donald Trump at The White House on Jan. 27, 2017 in Washington.

This morning, Khan weighed into the fight, issuing a statement where he criticized Trump for "promoting a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

Khan also called for May to rescind the invitation she had offered to Trump to visit the U.K.

During a speech in Jordan today, May reiterated her criticisms of the tweets, but noted that the invitation would not be revoked.

She said that she has "made my position clear on the tweets" but added that she is "not a prolific Tweeter myself, which means I don't spend all my time looking at other people's tweets."

She suggested that while this may be the latest disagreement, she doesn't intend it to have lasting damage.

"This is a long term special relationship we have, it is an enduring relationship, it is in both our national interests to have it," May said today.

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Source – abcnews.go.com

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