London Attack Leads To Another Incoherent Trump Twitter Tirade

President Trump responded to last night's terror attacks by taking to Twitter.

Trump Twitter

Not surprisingly, last night’s terror attack in London led to President Trump unleashing another one of his patented weekend Twitter tirades:

WASHINGTON — President Trump assailed political correctness, gun control supporters and the mayor of London on Sunday, arguing that the world needed to be more serious about fighting terrorism a day after seven people were killed and dozens more wounded in the latest attack in Britain.

“We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people,” he wrote on Twitter. “If we don’t get smart it will only get worse.”

Mr. Trump targeted Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, scorning him for trying to reassure his people. “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'” Mr. Trump wrote.

The president’s post mischaracterized what Mr. Khan said about the attack. During an interview shown on the BBC, the mayor said he was “appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would target” innocent civilians and vowed that “we will never let them win, nor will we allow them to cower our city.”

He went on to say that residents should not worry as they encounter more police officers patrolling the streets. “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days,” Mr. Khan said. “No reason to be alarmed. One of the things, the police, all of us need to do, is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world, but we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.”

Mr. Khan’s office later dismissed the president’s tweet, saying the mayor was too busy to reply. “He has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police — including armed officers — on the streets,” a spokesman for the mayor said in a statement.

A top aide to Mr. Trump added to the criticism of the mayor. Dan Scavino, the president’s director of social media, posted a message referring to Mr. Khan’s criticism of Mr. Trump a year ago for his “ignorant view of Muslims.”

On Saturday night and Sunday morning, in the hours after the attack, Mr. Trump sought to build support for his proposed travel ban on visitors from select Muslim-majority countries, which has been blocked by the courts, and argued that gun control was pointless because terrorists in this case used other weapons.

“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now?” he wrote on Sunday morning. “That’s because they used knives and a truck!”

On Saturday night, he wrote: “We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

Gun control advocates quickly noted that the casualty toll might have been much higher had the attackers had access to high-powered firearms. Britain has some of the world’s strictest regulations on private gun ownership.


It was not the first time a member of the Trump family criticized Mr. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of any major Western capital. In March, after a terrorist attack in London, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, posted a link to an article in Britain’s Independent newspaper from the previous September quoting Mr. Khan about terrorism.

“You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan,” the younger Mr. Trump wrote at the time.

Mr. Trump’s post left the impression that Mr. Khan was minimizing the importance of terrorist attacks. But in fact, he was saying that terrorism was a reality that a big city needed to be prepared to prevent and respond to vigorously.

“Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you’ve got to be prepared for these things, you’ve got to be vigilant, you’ve got to support the police doing an incredibly hard job,” Mr. Khan said.

“That means being vigilant, having a police force that is in touch with communities, it means the security services being ready, but it also means exchanging ideas and best practice,” Mr. Khan was quoted saying.

Here are Trump’s tweets in response to the attacks, in chronological order:

Much of what Trump says here, of course, is utter nonsense.

In the case of the first tweet, Trump is clearly seeking to use the death of six people to argue in favor of his Muslim Travel Ban, which is now pending before the Supreme Court for a review of the stay on its enforcement that was imposed by a Federal District Court Judge and upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  One of the arguments that the Judges at both the District Court and the Court of Appeals relied on in their decisions is the fact that Trump’s rhetoric both before and after the campaign reinforce the idea that the real purpose of his Executive Orders was to bring into effect the campaign promise he made for a “complete ban” on any entry of Muslims into the United States as much a possible. Because of that rhetoric, the Courts found that there was sufficient reason to find that there was an unconstitutional discriminatory intent behind the Executive Orders to find them to be unconstitutional. Trump’s tweet last night just tends to reinforce that argument, especially since he refers to the Executive Orders as a “Travel Ban” even as his lawyers argue in Court that it’s not really a ban, but a lawful exercise of Presidential authority to temporarily halt immigration from selected countries based on clear and present threats to national security. The Supreme Court Justices have set a deadline of June 12th for the Plaintiffs challenging the ban to respond to the government’s request to lift the stay, and could rule at any time after that.

Additionally, Trump’s tweet ignores the fact that it’s quite likely that his travel ban would have done nothing to prevent the attacks that have plagued Great Britain over the past three months. While we don’t know anything yet about the attackers who carried out last night’s attack, we do know about the attackers in both the March car ramming incident in Westminster and the bombing in Manchester last month were committed by men who were born in the United Kingdom. As I said this morning, I suspect that the same will end up being true about the attackers in last night’s attack. The travel ban that Trump would seek to impose does not apply to American citizens, or to Permanent Residents (Green Card holders). Therefore, it would have done nothing to prevent those individuals from leaving the U.K. for one of the countries on the Trump’s list or from returning to the United States.

As for the rest of Trump’s tirade, it’s the same kind of irrational nonsense we’ve long come to expect from Trump dating back to before he was even a candidate for President. His attack on the Mayor of London is, as noted, based on a complete misrepresentation of what Mayor Sadiq Khan actually said in response to the attack, and his comments about gun control are just irrelevant and nonsensical. What’s more concerning, though, is his apparent dismissal of legitimate concerns about civil liberties in the context of responding to terror attacks. As former Presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who has become a vocal and frequent Trump critic since the election ended, put it, ISIS is a serious threat but so is a President who dismisses civil liberties concerns as mere “political correctness.” If this is any indication of what kind of response we would see from President Trump in the event of a terrorist attack here in the United States, then we ought to be deeply concerned about the future and his ability to handle a crisis. Of course, the fact that his first response to a terrorist attack is to get on Twitter and exploit the deaths of people who were merely out for some Saturday night fun for his own political purposes tells us all we need to know about how that would go. Be concerned, my friends, be very concerned.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. michael reynolds says:

    Be concerned, my friends, be very concerned.

    Oh, we are.

  2. CSK says:

    You must have seen that Trump is expressing interest in visiting the U.K. later this week to “show solidarity.” As I said, haven’t these people suffered enough?

    Of course his real reason for wanting to flee the U.S. is to escape the Comey testimony and divert attention from it. What an utter swine this creature is.

  3. Pch101 says:

    We’ll find out soon enough, but I am willing to bet that the attackers were born in Britain and their heritage is not from a country that is subject to Trump’s fantastic, terrific (believe me) travel ban.

    Don’t expect his idiot fans to figure that out.

  4. Gustopher says:

    He wants the gun debate? The reason only a few people got killed was the attackers didn’t have access to guns.

    We’ve had a bunch of horrific attacks with lots of guns and lots of deaths… would that be better to Trumpy?

  5. Lounsbury says:

    As one of the leaders has already been reported to be a Londoner, indeed the Travel Ban seres no purpose than to express religious bigotry in a pointless, ineffective way.

  6. Lounsbury says:

    @Gustopher: Indeed. Keep your bloody idiotic gun politics to yourselves.

  7. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Will there ever be a catastrophe when this man doesn’t embarrass us?

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Remember ” A Noun, a Verb, and 9-11″ ?

    Now we have: ” (fill-in-the-blank) Leads To Another Incoherent Trump Twitter Tirade

    Welcome to the new normal.

    You would think that in response to a catastrophe in a foreign land, POTUS would request a briefing from State or CIA. But no.

    Trump appears to take his cues from Fox News in tweets on London attack

  9. James in Bremerton says:

    Look at the video from just 10 years ago. He had command of the language. We are seeing the results of a badly wounded dementia patient under unimaginable stress.

    As the charges of money laundering and tax evasion pile up, who can predict where this child will go? Does he even acknowledge impeachment?

    St. Ronaldus Upon Reagan had Nancy to run the country to balance out his senility, along with well-groomed trusted staff. Trump has alienated, well, everyone, and they all smell like amateur small-minded crooks. He cannot attract talent as a result, leaving the GOP with a government that yet to to begin despite controlling it all.

    Mueller’s probe just expanded to the deep end of the pool. Democrats could help immensely by turning out to vote next year.

  10. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: No. But at least we now know what it’s like to live in a nation that is run by internet trolls. The sad part is we have enough voters stupid enough to reelect these nitwits.

  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump’s incessant late night tweeting has gotten me to wonder if he is an alcoholic. His tweeting certainly resembles drunk dialing your ex and buddies.

    Yes, an attempt by Trump to declare martial law is coming.

  12. CSK says:

    @James in Bremerton:

    I’m not sure the witless gabble Trump utters is the product of senility rather than calculation. He saw how well being a fount of incoherence worked for Sarah Palin. And the proof is that his base loves the way he talks–just like a real American!

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Trump’s incessant late night tweeting has gotten me to wonder if he is an alcoholic

    Read more:

    FWIW, I’m going with qualludes as prescribed by his sketchy doctor. He is so well known as a lifelong teetotaler and has such a leaky staff that I doubt he could sneak a fifth past the door without the press knowing. And I go for qualludes (or however they are spelled) because it’s such a 70’s thing, and he’s such a 70’s guy.

  14. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I think the incessant tweeting is an overriding compulsion to have the last word, all the time, even if he damages himself. Of course it’s an addiction, but not one to drugs or alcohol.

  15. CSK says:


    Nah. He’d be a lot more mellow if he were gobbling disco biscuits.

  16. Argon says:

    “Additionally, Trump’s tweet ignores the fact that it’s quite likely that his travel ban would have done nothing to prevent the attacks that have plagued Great Britain over the past three months”

    The ban was supposed to be temporary while his administration developed ‘better’ screening protocols and implemented them. We’re those improvements supposed to be in place by now? In what way do they still need the blanket bans? Could it be because they in fact haven’t focused on delivering what they claimed were urgently necessary screening updates?

  17. Mr. Bluster says:

    “I commend the strong leadership of the @MayorofLondon as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack,”

    “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

    Which statement can be attributed to a professional Foreign Service Diplomat representing the Citizens of The United States of America and which statement can be attributed to a self confessed sexual molester of women?

  18. MarkedMan says:

    Trump is an embarrassment to all Americans, but it is specious to brand his behavior as outside the norm for Republicans. He is their chosen leader for a reason. He was birthed out of the routine disdain for reality and the incessant lying incivility that animates the entire modern Republican enterprise. Aside from a few “tut-tut”s bemoaning the tweets, establishment Republican officials will continue to support him. These are the Republicans we have today.

    Mild regrets over this tweet or that are easy and cheap. A party should be judged not by what they abhor, but by what they will not tolerate.

  19. CSK says:

    @Mr. Bluster:

    The sane dignified statement must surely be on the official POTUS account, since it sure as hell isn’t on the #realDonaldTrump account Mangolini uses to excrete his inimitable verbal diarrhea.

  20. David M says:

    Trump’s tweets are official statements. See @realpresssecbot or and the idiocy becomes even more apparent

  21. Not the IT Dept. says:

    I agree with the onset of dementia agreement. Not with the drinking problem, though. He just doesn’t strike me as a boozer. And I do remember that he’s claimed that the example of his older brother – who died an alcoholic – was incentive not to drink. It could be a lie, of course, but I’m giving some credit on that one.

    On the other hand, remember the debates? SNIFFFFFFFF!!

  22. Janis Gore says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: I just read that all three major erectile dysfunction medications cause sniffling as a side effect. Melania was at those debates.

    I posit sleep deprivation for his, ah, symptoms. The man claims to survive on about four hours of sleep a night.

  23. Janis Gore says:

    @Janis Gore: That and an unfathomable well of simple mean-spiritedness.

  24. Slugger says:

    I didn’t pay much attention to Mr. Trump before the election. Since then he has reminded me more and more of the uncle that my parents had to invite to functions. They sat him by me, and I was strongly admonished to be nice to him. Actually, I soon learned that any contradiction would earn me another half hour of spittle spraying invective. I used to tune him out with vague affirmations. When I got older, alcohol helped. Yes, Mr. President, you are the greatest, and your ideas are real eye openers.

  25. Jake says:

    Nails it

    We know that our elites have not kept up. They are locked in a bubble of denialism. They believe all religions to be intrinsically peaceful and that this most particularly applies to the Religion of Peace™. “A great religion,” they are also apt to call it. That’s right, a great religion of peace whose very scripture is regularly invoked by base murderers of men, women and children.

    By extension, the Islamic nature of atrocity after atrocity is disguised for as long as is credulously possible. The insanity defence is trotted out if at all credible. To ask why insane Baptists don’t regularly go on killing sprees risks brings accusations of Islamophobia. “Islamophobia” is, in a word, mightier than the sword in hamstringing the enemy; to wit us.

    When the obvious perpetrators can no longer be obfuscated, perfidious perspective takes over. This takes two forms.

  26. Senyordave says:

    With Trump, it is very simple. Think of the worst person you’ve ever known. Unless that person is a mass murderer or a child molester, it is more than likely that Trump is worse than that person.

  27. Gustopher says:

    @Jake: You might as well ask why don’t insane Catholics go on killing sprees?

    Oh, they used to do so quite recently in Northern Ireland, and in parts of Britain. Most Catholics aren’t violent people who are willing to set off car bombs and the like, so perhaps we can look at what happened and learn something.

    Terrorism is a method of warfare, a means to an end, rather than an end itself. Yes, you can get all sorts of stupid people to do stupid things, but you post bizarre far right links, so you know all about stupid people doing stupid things.

    If we want to end terrorism, we need to solve the underlying problems that are causing the conflict, rather than assuming that if we keep squeezing our fist, we will crush the terrorism right out of them thar islamofascists. Police and military actions can reduce terrorism’s effects, but they cannot eliminate it.

  28. Gustopher says:

    @Senyordave: Trump is likely to kill more people than any garden variety mass murderer. And the poor children… well, they’re fvcked.

  29. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Indeed. There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world. If they were all terrorists, or their faith somehow mandated terrorism, the rest of us would already be dead by now.

    The guys who drug James Byrd to death behind a truck? Baptists. Yet somehow other Baptists manage to get through the day without lynching someone.

    The problem is what it has always been – religious extremism. Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on that.

    Not by a long shot …

  30. Gustopher says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Religious extremism comes from somewhere — it’s a symptom, not a cause.

    I mean, some people are just racist fvcks and want to give their hatred a justification and make it noble — the KKK comes to mind here — but generally it is hopelessness, lack of opportunity, and a feeling of resentment that they are being left behind that causes people to cling to religion that way.

    It’s also what powers a lot of Trump voters. And the militia movement. And good old fashioned race riots.

    When people don’t feel like they have any power to change things for the better, they reach for whatever change they can make.

  31. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gustopher: That’s actually not the profile of European jihadists. They are mostly well off, 2nd Generation adult children of former immigrants. They have access to both education and opportunity…..but still choose a path of extremism. Are there some poor disadvantaged jihadists? Sure. But the heavy lifters tend to be the former rather than the latter…..especially when we start looking at who is providing the intellectual support for why “true Muslims” must take this path and who is providing money.

  32. KM says:

    @Jim Brown 32 :
    But there *are* feeling of resentment and disaffection. Remember, it doesn’t have to make sense to you, just them. For whatever reason – life not what they thought it would be, suffering racism, not blending in as 2nd gen, false nostalgia for the “old country” and its ways, etc – these jihadists turn towards radicalism because it fulfills an internal or external need for them. People have been known to become murderous over what seems to be incredibly petty reasons to an outsider but mean a great deal to the perpetrators.

    Most people fall prey to fundamentalism because it seems to offer a solution that fits their mindset. A clean, clear-cut view of the world, black and white morals with set instructions on how to be on the side on the angels and at its core, the reassurance that YOU are right and everyone else is WRONG. The haters, those who wrong you and pain your existence? They’re going to burn like a tire fire for it. It’s a very seductive thought process of the young and angry. Extremists go one step further and decide to help that process along.

  33. JohnMcC says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Think of Islamists as analogous to Trump voters. Cultural insecurity and resentment is the motivator. Trump voters are actually more affluent than Hillary voters or Bernie Bros. Don’t we recall the campaign slogan that the Goldwater folks adopted? “In your heart, you KNOW he’s right.” Don’t use your head; listen to your heart.

  34. Pch101 says:

    There are jihadists from poor countries who do it because they’re essentially paid mercenaries — it’s a job.

    The jihadists from the west tend to either be garden variety losers such as petty criminals (who may have been radicalized in jail) or else more normal folks with a sense of moral outrage who think that they’re doing some good and are striking a blow for the little guy. Mohammed Atta of 9/11 fame was of the latter variety — someone from an educated family who earnestly believed that he was doing the right thing by standing up for others.

    English culture can be fairly alienating to some of these people, as it demands that they assimilate but doesn’t really welcome them. It’s a work of fiction, but I would recommend the film My Son the Fanatic for an example of how this actually plays out (in that case, the bitter British-born son of a Pakistani immigrant who loves an England that doesn’t love him back.)

  35. Janis Gore says:

    Further presidential tweet and response:

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Duh, look at who ended up joining the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan.

    It’s not just Muslims who have a problem with their well-educated, well-brought-up, ostentatiously successful kids going loopy radical.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    I think an important attribute for this current type of terrorism is that it is a suicide endeavor. It is almost always designed so that the terrorist dies in the effort. This isn’t unique to Islam. In fact, the high school mass murderers, the kindergarten killers, the racist Dylan Roof types, etc, are Christians insofar as they have any religion. And even with the Islamist murderer/suicides, religion often seems to be an afterthought.

    Past terrorists seemed to be much more about remote detonations, or shootings from a distance. The Roman Catholic abortion doctor murderers and clinic bombers, Timothy McVeigh and his Christian Identity movement, the Klan leaving their Baptist services to kidnap, torture and murder innocent black men, the black, Christian father/son shooters who terrified DC in the late 90’s, the Fundamentalist Christian Olympic bomber, and even the original Islamist World Trade Center bombers (the semi-unsuccessful truck bomb), all took pains to escape. Yet today, more and more often, terrorists are people who essentially want to commit suicide and take as many innocents with them as possible. Sometimes they wrap it up in Islam, sometimes Christianity or White Power, but I suspect they are all at heart the same as the Egyptian pilot (a Muslim) who drove his plane and all the passengers into the ocean because, it seems, his life had become unbearable.

    I can’t get inside that mindset (which is probably a good thing) and so can’t really offer much insight. But FWIW, I think we are focussing too much on the nominally ideological aspects of why they do what they too, and not enough on the fact that they are sociopathic suicides.

  38. Pch101 says:


    Asymmetrical warfare often inflicts more casualties on the weaker party — once the calvary shows up, it’s a matter of time before the terrorists are dead.

    In that sense, suicide attacks make sense. If you’re already dead before you started, then you may as well accept it and go for maximum effect instead of hoping against hope that you’ll be the exception, only to do less damage as you tried unsuccessfully to save yourself.

    Jihadis use these tactics largely because the normal ones didn’t work. When Arab nations waged conventional wars against Israel, they failed every time.

    Adding religion to the mix is an effort to add legitimacy in the absence of legal authority. If you want to see an example of this, read our own Declaration of Independence — the revolutionaries claimed to have a higher authority because the law was clearly not on their side. They are using Islam because that’s the faith that they inherited; if these people were some other faith, then they would be using that one, instead.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    It’s hope not hopelessness that causes the problem. The hope of escape, the hope of elevation, hope for a better world, hope for wealth or power.

    Look at everything from slave rebellions to revolutions and you always find that the relatively well-off are the leaders. You can go all the way back to Moses – raised in privilege. The American revolution – wealthy landowners. The French revolution – petit bourgeois and minor nobility. Bolivar was well-off. Lenin and Trotsky were both from well-off families. Hell, Spartacus wasn’t in the salt mines, he was a gladiator. The only exception that comes readily to mind is Toussaint L’Ouverture and, well, that’s complicated.

    Inevitably the class to be liberated is a tool of some member or members of the elites. The reality is that oppressed masses are too busy surviving to start revolutions.

    And when you look at the results, what do you see? A better life for the masses? Not usually, but sometimes. A better life for the victorious elite? Always.

    This jihadi ‘revolution’ is a creation of Trump’s orb-stroking pals – a religious sect (wahhabism) created to justify the domination of the Saud dynasty that morphed into a murderous death cult run by rich kids like Osama and financed by oil sheiks.

    Revolutions aren’t about the poor and victimized, they’re about the poor and victimized being used as cannon fodder for the ambitions of elites. Sometimes those elites are genuinely idealistic (Bolivar comes to mind) but more often than not it’s just middle class assholes hoping to become upper class assholes.

  40. MarkedMan says:


    In that sense, suicide attacks make sense.

    I get what you’re saying but think you might be missing my point. I agree with your later observation that religion is an effort to add legitimacy. But I suspect that effort is an after the fact affair. For whatever reason they want to suicide, and do it in a way that kills innocents.

    Currently Islamist leaders seem to be actively targeting and recruiting such people. I think here in the US it is more of a side effect of the current right wing paranoia about “those people” encroaching our liberty and their endless rants about how they are willing to fight to the last drop of blood to preserve liberty in this sacred nation, blah, blah, blah. (Ever notice how much these speeches resemble the 11 year olds – “you’ll all be sorry when I’m dead” tearful fantasy of everyone realizing what a great person they were only when they heroically sacrifice their life?). Unlike the Islamists, I don’t think the right wing is actively recruiting suicides, I think that juvenile fantasy just feeds into that world view.

  41. Pch101 says:


    For whatever reason they want to suicide

    It’s the most effective tactic that they have available.

    If they try to wage a conventional war for any prolonged period of time, then they will get turned into hamburger. That automatically hands the advantage to the major power with the sophisticated weapons, superior technology and manpower. The kill ratio would strongly favor the larger opponent.

    Some combination of guerilla warfare and terrorism is more effective. They die, but they get to take a lot of people with them. They were going to die anyway, so why pretend that it wasn’t inevitable? Suicide attacks, in their odd sort of way, allow them to feel like winners in ways that other forms of combat would not.

  42. teve tory says:

    Doug’s got a keyboard macro that spits out ‘was a disappointing jobs report’, but the next one he programs should read ‘incoherent trump twitter tirade’. Saves on typing. 😀