On Saturday, London became the latest city to face another terror attack. A white van drove down the London Bridge around 10 p.m. GMT, hitting several pedestrians. Three men armed with knives exited the van, attacking civilians in the Borough Market area. Police quickly responded, killing the suspects within ten minutes of the men leaving the vehicle. As of this writing, 7 people are dead and 48 are wounded.
It was a horrific event which President Trump would exploit to spread fear, push his Muslim ban, and attack the mayor of London.
As the terror attack unfolded, President Trump’s first response would be to retweet an unsubstantiated report from far right-wing site, The Drudge Report:
Trump’s retweet lead to this unprecedented response from NBC Nightly News:
The Drudge Report is notorious for running false stories. In March, the site ran a link claiming the NSA had surveilled Trump and his family (an extension of Trump’s debunked claim Obama had wiretapped his phones). The link ran back to conspiracy theory trash site, Infowars.
It would have been more dignified if the President had retweeted the “Hang in there” cat.
What’s incredibly disturbing is a sitting U.S. President did not use his initial response to offer support or condemn an attack against one of our nation’s strongest allies. His second response was worse.
In a time of crisis, Trump chose not to issue a statement of reassurance… but one of fear.
Trump is the Billy Mays of tragedy, using the London attack to sell his Muslim ban. However, we knew nothing of the attacker(s) at this point in the night.
This is who Donald Trump is and why he will never be truly presidential. After the Paris terror attack in February, Trump didn’t tweet support for our French allies. He warned, “GET SMART U.S.”
Worth noting is Trump’s choice of words “Travel Ban” in his second tweet regarding London. Trump’s own communications team has desperately attempted to back away from the term since the beginning of his administration.
“It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in January. “It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.”
By tweet number three, Trump finally gets it right:
This should have been his first and only tweet on Saturday.
By Sunday morning, Trump would further disgrace America when he lashed out against Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London:
This is not what Mayor Khan said. Trump either can’t read or he intentionally misrepresented what the Mayor said… it’s a toss up, but I’m going with the latter.
This is the mayor’s full quote:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”
Imagine if, after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, former Prime Minister David Cameron had berated that city’s mayor. You can’t, because that would have been crazy.
Trump would go on a Sunday morning tweet storm regarding London, culminating in a foolish (and unnecessary) defense of the Second Amendment… all of which seem to have been inspired by Fox News.
Mediaite’s Josh Feldman has done an excellent job corresponding Fox & Friends’ Sunday morning segments with Trump’s tweets. As Feldman points out, Trump’s 4:43 AM tweet pointing out how the nation is “not having a gun debate right now” is nearly verbatim to a guest on the Sunday morning show prior to Trump publishing his tweet.
It’s an idiotic tweet for multiple reasons. The gun debate is ongoing in this country (regardless if Trump recognizes it). In the U.S., we lose 92 lives a day to gun violence.
The reason the terrorists used a vehicle and knives is because it is difficult to get firearms in the UK. If they had access to firearms, the death toll (and those wounded) would have been significantly higher.
Trump was quick to respond to the London attack and correlate it to his “travel ban” prior to knowing the facts of the event. He’s clearly attempting to garner support for his currently blocked executive order in hopes it will translate to a political win for his administration.
In contrast, it took him three days to respond to last week’s Portland terror attack by a white supremacist which left two people dead. Once he condemned the Portland tragedy, he only did so through his official presidential account… not the @realdonaldtrump handle he regularly uses.
Trump’s response is a warning to every American. This is a man who can not handle a crisis situation. If we have a domestic terror attack under this administration, it’s difficult to anticipate the response Trump will take… but it won’t be to reassure you of your safety.
Since Saturday night, Trump has encouraged a constant state of fear among America’s citizens. Trump’s actions further empower ISIS through maintaining this atmosphere and providing propaganda material via renewed calls for the Muslim ban.
For over forty years, immigrants/refugees from the seven nations in Trump’s original Muslim ban have been responsible for zero American casualties on U.S. soil.
The chance of dying an an attack by a foreign-born terrorist is 0.00003%.
In the wake of the latest terror attack, President Trump wants you to live in fear. Don’t… London sure as hell isn’t.
In a Monday morning tweet storm, Donald Trump has referred to his executive order multiple times as a “Travel Ban” (further undermining his own DOJ’s argument before the courts). Trump has also disgustingly tweeted a second attack against London Mayor Sadiq Khan: