How many times in eight months has Trump’s administration pissed off the British government? There was the fiasco in March when Spicer touted Andrew Napolitano’s claim that Britain’s NSA had spied on Trump for the Obama White House. There was the incident after the Manchester terror attack when crime-scene photos apparently taken by British intelligence and shared with the U.S. somehow ended up in the New York Times. There was Trump’s war of words with London mayor Sadiq Khan, a politician sufficiently popular in the UK that Theresa May felt obliged to defend him from Trump even though they’re from different parties.
And now there’s this. At the rate we’re going, I’m not sure that golden-carriage ride is ever going to happen.
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
This morning’s bomber was “in the sights of Scotland Yard”? That was news to the public. When May was asked about, she replied drily, “I never think it’s helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.” Other British pols and former pols were less politic. This guy was, until recently, May’s chief of staff:
True or not – and I'm sure he doesn't know – this is so unhelpful from leader of our ally and intelligence partner. https://t.co/ZndrTXFrAX
— Nick Timothy (@NickJTimothy) September 15, 2017
And this guy is a former MP from May’s own party:
It is highly unhelpful/dangerous and inappropriate for an ally to make announcements that share intelligence and undermine investigations https://t.co/rHcrE8oUNz
— Ben Howlett (@benhowlettuk) September 15, 2017
“Others pointed out that any other members of a potential terror cell may have been alerted that they had been under surveillance if the president was basing his comments on a confidential security briefing,” noted Bloomberg. Journalists are peeved too:
We've torn up our EU alliance to embrace a US whose president won't even back the Met when London is attackedhttps://t.co/7qug05Jp0I
— Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) September 15, 2017
BuzzFeed asked London police for reaction to what Trump said and were told that his comments were “unhelpful” and “pure speculation.” Unhelpful, sure, but I don’t know about speculation: POTUS told reporters this morning that he had been briefed on the attack, in which case his hint that Scotland Yard knew something about the perpetrator(s) may be more than him just spitballing. If he really did spill the beans about something the British government had shared in confidence, it would be the second time in four months that intelligence from the UK had been exposed to the American public and the second time this year (at least!) that POTUS had revealed terrorism-related intelligence to people who weren’t supposed to know about it yet. At least when he allegedly blabbed about that ISIS mole’s location to the Russians it was during conversation, when a person’s apt to be more absent-minded. What’s the excuse for tweeting out something that you shouldn’t have?
Here he is addressing reporters at the White House today. Exit question per his tweets: How would the travel ban have mattered in this case? Is he suggesting visitors from the UK should receive “extreme vetting”?
— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 15, 2017