Trump Slams London Mayor Over ISIS Bridge Attack Response

President drives another wedge between U.S. and key ally

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, left, shows then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the view from his office before they met in October. President Donald Trump on Monday called Khan "pathetic" for comments that Londoners should not be alarmed due to a larger police presence following an ISIS attack on Saturday night. (State Department photo via Wikimedia Commons)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, left, shows then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry the view from his office before they met in October. President Donald Trump on Monday called Khan "pathetic" for comments that Londoners should not be alarmed due to a larger police presence following an ISIS attack on Saturday night. (State Department photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:16am

President Donald Trump broke with decades of diplomatic protocol by labeling London’s mayor “pathetic” for his response to an Islamic State attack there Saturday night.

The U.S. president appeared, for the second time, to take a statement out of context that Sadiq Khan made Sunday explaining to Londoners a planned ramped up security presence around the city. And in so doing, Trump opted to drive another wedge between the United States and an ally with which American long has had a “special relationship.”

[Analysis: Trump Pulls Further Away From Allies With Paris Decision]

In a Monday morning tweet fired off 11 minutes before he was slated to receive his daily intelligence briefing, Trump called Khan’s statement a “pathetic excuse,” and accused mainstream media outlets of “working hard to sell it.”

That came a day after another tweet in which Trump criticized the London mayor, insinuating people should be scared after the attack that left seven dead and 48 wounded. Past leaders of the United States and other countries have tried to calm their citizens following attacks on their home soil or on the soil of their closest allies.

Trump, however, appears content preaching fear as the proper response.

Khan’s full remarks suggest he was referring to the larger police footprint, rather than any credible intelligence of future attacks.

“My message to Londoners and visitors to our great city is to be calm and vigilant today. You will see an increased police presence today, including armed officers and uniformed officers,” Khan said in a Sunday morning television interview. “There is no reason to be alarmed by this. We are the safest global city in the world. You saw last night as a consequence of our planning, our preparation, the rehearsals that take place, the swift response from the emergency services tackling the terrorists and also helping the injured.”

Rep. Jim Hines, a Connecticut Democrat who is a House Intelligence Committee member, tweeted that Trump’s willingness to lambast the mayor of a close ally after a terrorist attack shows that he “is dangerous.”

Trump’s tweet came a couple hours after earlier posts in which he slammed his own hand-picked Justice Department officials for asking the Supreme Court to review what he called a “watered down” executive order banning individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, rather than a tougher initial version.

Both versions were frozen by federal courts.

Trump’s tweets about the London attack appeared to overshadow the White House’s plans for “infrastructure week.” His top aides had wanted this week to focus on Trump’s plans to upgrade America’s bridges, roads, airports, and other infrastructure. 

Trump’s tirade comes as Gallup puts his approval rating at just 36 percent, and the number of Americans who disapprove of his performance two percentage points shy of 60 percent.