Britain suffered its third terrorist attack of 2017 when a van ran down pedestrians on London Bridge late Saturday night. This was quickly followed by a stabbing and a shooting in nearby neighborhoods. Three perpetrators were shot and killed by police. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the incidents.
A few hours later, President Donald Trump retweeted an unconfirmed report from the Drudge news website. That message was quickly followed by a statement that demanded the courts allow for the Muslim travel ban because Americans need to be “tough” and “vigilant.”
The apparent lack of support from Trump toward one of the country’s biggest allies sent ripples through the political world. On Twitter, the president received intense criticism to which he responded by posting another message that quoted London mayor Sadiq Khan out of context. Khan had asked citizens to not be alarmed by extra police presence over the next few days. Trump responded by tweeting the number of dead and wounded and using the “not be alarmed” as an apparent insult to Khan, who is a Muslim.
Trump added more fuel to the fire by tweeting that the London attackers used knives and a vehicle and implied that the gun debate was silly. While he later tweeted out support and sympathy for London, world leaders were unimpressed and his detractors continued to vilify him.
This latest social media incident underscores the concern about Trump’s mental state and his ability to lead the nation. It also comes on the heels of a shaky European visit, during which German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared herself the leader of the free world and said the EU could no longer rely on the United States for support.
On Monday, Trump continued to tweet criticism against the court blocking his travel ban. He said nothing further about the London attacks.