After a terrorist attack, there are two steps nearly every leader takes: first, condemn the violence; second, appeal for calm. London Mayor Sadiq Khan followed that familiar playbook in the wake of Saturday night’s attacks. Speaking to the BBC, Khan said:
There aren’t words to describe the grief and anger that our city is feeling today. I’m appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would deliberately target innocent Londoners and bystanders enjoying their Saturday night. There can be no justification for the acts of these terrorists, and I’m quite clear that we will never let them win, nor will we allow to cower our city.
Then Khan went on reassure the public:
Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. 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.
Early Sunday morning, President Trump logged onto Twitter, offering not condolences to Britain or support in fighting terrorism (though he did do that in a call with Prime Minister Theresa May, according to a White House readout), but instead an angry “I told you so” and an attack on Khan:
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!"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
(Trump also argued that the fact that the attackers did not use guns proved gun-control pointless, a claim my colleague David Frum has dissected elsewhere.)
The claim that political correctness, rather than violent attackers, is to blame for the attack puts the cart before the horse. Even if were situated properly, though, it would remain dubious, as the U.K. has aggressively surveilled Muslims it believes could conduct attacks. The Times reported earlier this year that British intelligence is watching 23,000 possible jihadists, and more closely watching 3,000 of them.