Monday, June 5, 2017

Trump's Tweet Was a Lie - Updated Again

The mayor, Sadiq Khan, did not use the phrase “no reason to be alarmed” in a statement overnight or when he spoke in a television interview earlier on Sunday.

In the statement, Khan said “Metropolitan police are responding to the horrific terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market,” and added: “My thoughts are with everyone affected, and I’d like to thank the brave men and women of our emergency services who were first on the scene and will be working throughout the night.

“This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night,” he said. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”

In the television interview, Khan said the UK general election, scheduled for Thursday, should go ahead as planned. He added: “There aren’t words to describe the grief and anger that our city will be facing today. I’m appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would deliberately target innocent Londoners.

“There can be no justification for the acts of these terrorists and I am quite clear that we will never let them win.”


Trump was widely criticised for his first reaction to the news from London, in which he retweeted an unsubstantiated headline from the conservativeDrudge Report website.


The Drudge retweet was later removed from the president’s personal Twitter account.

It was unclear whether the president received any kind of intelligence briefing of his own about the attacks before he saw a tweet from the Drudge Report that said: “Fears of new terror attack after van ‘mows down 20 people’ on London Bridge.”

Of course he didn't. Wouldn't have mattered anyway.
Seventeen minutes after the Drudge tweet, White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted: “National Security team has briefed @POTUS on situation at #LondonBridge and will continue to provide updates.”

NBC felt the need to caution its audience about the credibility of the information the president was passing on. The channel put out its own tweet in response, saying: “Pres[ident] Trump has used Twitter to share news report on London incident. We aren’t relaying president’s retweet, as the info is unconfirmed.”


Some 40 minutes after his original reflex response, Trump sent out a second tweet, making a political point from the unfolding horror in London, arguing that it added weight to his efforts to get a travel ban imposed on travellers from six predominantly Muslim countries.


Daniel Drezner, a politics professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, responded furiously, denouncing the president as “a cheap hustler occupying an office that you don’t understand”.

John Horgan, a psychologist and terrorist expert at Georgia State University responded to the tweet by calling Trump the “Opportunist-in-Chief”.

Adam Wagner, a British human rights barrister in said: “Message from London: political point scoring is the absolute, LAST thing we need right now.”

Eight minutes after his political point about the travel ban, Trump sent out a third, more supportive tweet, closer to a more normal response from a world leader when an ally comes under attack.

“Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the UK,” he wrote, πwe will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
An afterthought. Or his communications team suggested he might want to show some actual support and a little presidential decorum.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE:  The Guardian is wrong:

"Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days," Khan told the BBC earlier on Sunday. "There's no reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is ensure that 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, but we always evolve and review to make sure we're as safe as we possibly can be."

Khan's spokesperson dismissed the US President's comments: "The mayor is busy working with the police, emergency services and the government to coordinate the response to this horrific and cowardly terrorist attack and provide leadership and reassurance to Londoners and visitors to our city. He has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump's ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police – including armed officers – on the streets."


In fact, Mr Khan had said: “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. There is no reason to be alarmed by this.”

  UK Independent
I wonder just what exactly he did say. It seems likely that what he intended was for people not to be alarmed by the increased police activity, but whatever he said, there is no excuse for tRump's fear-mongering, derogatory tweet.

Theresa May is facing calls to scrap Donald Trump’s visit to Britain after the US President’s latest attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

I didn't know he was invited in the first place. I knew he was threatening to go, to show solidarity - what a brilliant idea: add to the chaos and strain on police resources. The man thinks of nothing but himself.

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