- President Donald Trump attacked Mayor Sadiq Khan of London while en route to the UK.
- The president called Khan a “loser” who was doing a “terrible job.”
- Khan had suggested Trump was a fascist.
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LONDON – President Donald Trump has attacked Mayor Sadiq Khan of London as a “stone cold loser” who had done a “terrible job” ahead of Trump’s planned three-day state visit to London.
Khan on Sunday criticised Trump and compared him to fascist leaders in the 20th century.
In a tweet sent from Air Force One, Trump wrote that Khan, “who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom.”
He added: “He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me. Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job – only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!”
In response to the tweets, a representative for Khan said the president’s behaviour was “much more serious than childish insults which should be beneath the president of the United States.”
The person added: “Sadiq is representing the progressive values of London and our country warning that Donald Trump is the most egregious example of a growing far-right threat around the globe, which is putting at risk the basic values that have defined our liberal democracies for more than 70 years.”
Downing Street refused to intervene. “The mayor of London made some comments about the president,” a No. 10 representative told Business Insider. “The president responded. It’s a matter for those two men. They can both speak for themselves.”
Hours earlier, Trump had mocked the London mayor’s 5-foot-6 height in a statement before Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, boarded Air Force One from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
“No I don’t think much of him,” Trump said. “I think that he’s the twin of de Blasio except shorter.”
Khan had launched a series of broadsides against Trump in an op-ed article for the Observer newspaper on Sunday.
Khan compared the president’s language to that used by “fascists of the 20th century” and said the UK should not be “rolling out the red carpet” for him.
“President Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat,” Khan wrote.
“The far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than 70 years.”
The two have had several clashes in the past, with Trump having been angered in 2018 by Khan’s decision to allow a giant inflatable blimp depicting the president as a baby wearing a diaper to fly in central London.