London mayor Sadiq Khan lent his voice to the many protesting Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK later today, as Trump launched a scathing attack on the London mayor minutes after he landed in the UK.
The London mayor penned a scathing op-ed about the US president in The Observer, writing: “Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat.”
That’s why it’s so un-British to be rolling out the red carpet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon – equality, liberty and religious freedom.
Across the world, the far right is on the rise. They pick on minorities, the marginalised and the vulnerable to manufacture a false enemy and divide us.
Against this backdrop, London stands out as a beacon of hope. And that’s worth defending.
Trump responded to the column with criticism just moments before he set off for Britain and told reporters he is unwilling to meet with the politician.
After Trump landed in the UK, he hopped on Twitter and criticised Khan - spelling his name incorrectly.
[email protected], 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 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!
Asked on Sunday evening if he would be willing to meet Mr Khan during his state visit, Mr Trump said: "No, I don't think much of him. I think that he's a - he's the twin of (New York City mayor Bill) de Blasio, except shorter."
Some people thought his words were out of line - that Britain should welcome all country leaders
Others praised his strong stance
CNN journalist Sarah Boxer called it an "absolutely brutal take-down of Trump"
And argue that, given Trump's history, Khan has "every right" to call him a racist
Americans are also praising Khan for his comments
Trump has praised Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage and denied making "bad" comments about the Duchess of Sussex.
"Well, I think I may meet with him. He's been a friend of mine. He's been very nice. I have a very good relationship with him," the president said of Johnson.
He went on: "I have a very good relationship with Nigel Farage, with many people over there (in the UK) and we'll see what happens. I may meet with him. They want to meet. We'll see what happens."
The Greater London Authority, headed by Khan, has allowed for a gigantic balloon showing Trump as an angry orange baby to fly over London as the world leader visits the capital.