London Mayor Sadiq Khan escalated his feud with President Trump, reiterating his position that the U.K. government’s invitation to Trump to visit the country in the fall is a mistake.
“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,” Khan told Channel 4 News on Monday. “When you have a special relationship, it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity, but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
As I wrote yesterday, Khan’s feud with Trump spans 18 months, an op-ed, several interviews and, of course, Twitter. But it was reignited Saturday after the attacks in London following which 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.” Trump’s response:
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 spokesperson for Khan initially said the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks”—sentiments Khan repeated in the Channel 4 interview—but that didn’t prevent him from later telling the BBC: “We aren’t going to allow anybody , whether it’s Donald Trump or anybody else, to divide our community.”
Boris Johnson, the U.K. foreign secretary who was Khan’s predecessor as London’s mayor, said Tuesday he saw no reason for the government invitation to Trump to be revoked.
“The invitation has been issued and accepted and I see no reason to change that,” he said. “I don’t wish to enter into a row between those two individuals who are able to stick up for themselves.
But he added: “Sadiq was perfectly right to reassure the public about the presence of armed officers on the street.”