When was the last time an allied foreign leader criticized an American mayor for crisis response, even when he/she deserved it?
That hoped-for “solidarity visit” to London this week is going to be a humdinger.
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
That’s a sequel to this tweet from yesterday:
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
Sadiq Khan, the mayor, didn’t say there’s no reason to be alarmed about terrorism. What he said: “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 and all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.” In other words, there’s no reason to be alarmed that another attack is imminent. The police will be out in the streets as a precautionary measure, not because there’s intelligence suggesting more bombs are about to go off.
Why does Trump have it in for Khan? The strong-form Trump-critic theory is that he doesn’t like guys named “Khan,” period, whether their first name is Sadiq, Khizr, or what have you. He enjoys having politically prominent Muslims as a foil. (Well, sometimes. Send him to Saudi Arabia and he’s apt to pose for orb-fondling photo ops with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.) The weak-form Trump-critic theory is that this has nothing to do with Khan’s faith and everything to do with Trump’s habit of holding grudges. Khan criticized him last year, as Trump’s social-media director reminded everyone on Twitter last night:
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) May 11, 2016
Trump’s just settling a score, as is his wont, no matter how tone-deaf the circumstances. There’s a third possibility too. Maybe Trump heard the “no reason to be alarmed” soundbite somewhere, assumed Khan was talking about jihadism generally, and didn’t care enough to check the context before attacking him publicly. I don’t think there’s any eight-dimensional, or even two-dimensional, chess he’s playing in smacking this guy in the aftermath of his city being attacked. I think he’s lashing out opportunistically, and foolishly, at someone he didn’t like in the first place, never mind the consequences for the trans-Atlantic alliance.
Speaking of lashing out, all I’d add to Ed’s excellent, comprehensive post about the many stupidities of Trump’s early-morning travel-ban tweetstorm is that this clip on “Morning Joe” appears to have been the inspiration for it. Trump often tweets in reaction to segments that have recently aired on “Fox & Friends.” Today he seems to have been watching MSNBC. Scarborough may have baited him into destroying the DOJ’s defense of Trump’s own executive order.
When is a travel ban not a travel ban? Trump WH in their own words. pic.twitter.com/xZo6ntGCJI
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 5, 2017