U.S. president reignites rivalry with London mayor as he begins a three-day state visit to Britain
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Monday as he arrived for a three-day state visit to Britain, reviving a long-running enmity between the two politicians.
On landing, he sent out a tweet calling Khan a “stone cold loser” for criticizing his red carpet treatment, which includes a private lunch and state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
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,” Trump said. “He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me,” he wrote, likely referring to a spike in fatal stabbings in the capital, which is causing widespread public concern.
Trump and Khan have long clashed on Twitter but Khan wrote a newspaper article on Sunday in which he compared the president to European dictators from the 1930s and 1940s.
Khan, a Muslim whose parents arrived in London from Pakistan, lashed out at Trump’s “deliberate use of xenophobia, racism and ‘otherness’ as an electoral tactic” and his travel ban efforts on mostly Muslim countries.
In a second tweet, Trump compared Khan to New York York’s liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom he has also clashed, writing that the difference between them was that London’s leader was “only half his height.”
London is bracing for two major protests on Monday and Tuesday, with organizers planning to fly a blimp of a baby Trump dressed in a diaper, with an angry expression on his face.