President Trump uses London terror attack to push for his travel ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump always seems to have a lot to say when he first wakes up in the morning. Most days Trump’s morning tweet routine seems to focus on late-breaking news from the night before, or a segment he saw on that day’s episode of Fox & Friends. However, on Friday, the president used his morning tweet storm to not only spread unconfirmed information about a terror attack that was unfolding in London, but also politicize the event in an effort to garner support for his much maligned travel ban.
More than two dozen people were injured when an improvised explosive device went off on a train at the London Underground’s Parsons Green station during the morning rush hour on Friday. Miraculously, no one was killed and most of the injuries were attributed to flash burns. London’s Metropolitan Police quickly announced that they were treating the bombing as an act of terror, but at the time they had little to no information as to who was responsible for the attack. “There are many urgent inquiries now ongoing with hundreds of detectives looking at CCTV, forensic work, and speaking to witnesses,” said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley.
Even though the investigation was still in its early stages and police were still interviewing witnesses and tracking down leads to come up with a suspect, President Trump felt it was necessary to weigh in on the situation a little more than two hours after it happened. In exactly 140 characters Trump managed to not only suggest that the person behind the attack was known by authorities in the U.K., but to imply that the attack was allowed to happened because those very same authorities weren’t aggressive enough to prevent it.
British officials weren’t happy with President Trump’s choice to chime in before any of the facts were known. A spokesperson for the London Metropolitan Police called Trump’s comments, “Pure speculation, given we don’t know who was involved.” Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May, who earlier this year was criticized for not condemning Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville strongly enough, stood behind the officers of Scotland Yard during an appearance on Sky News. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” said May.
Just twelve minutes after sending his first tweet on the attack, President Trump used it as a justification for his travel ban, which is still being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. The President, in replying to his own tweet, tried to connect the still unknown suspect to the danger he says would come to America should individuals from the six majority-Muslim nations listed in his travel ban be allowed to enter the United States. It’s important to point out that at this point there was no evidence to suggest that anyone involved in the attack came to the U.K. from any of those six countries.
This wasn’t the first time that President Trump has tried to capitalize on a terror attack to push the same agenda. When seven people were killed after being run down by a van on a London bridge in June of this year he touted the travel ban as “an extra level of safety.”
Trump’s response to these terror attacks stand in stark contrast to the president’s response in the days after the death of Heather Heyer at an alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. While the president was all-too-eager to respond to the attacks in London, even as they were happening, it took several days for the president to make a statement after James Alex Fields drove his car through a group of counter protesters in Charlottesville, killing Heyer and injuring dozens of others. He defended that decision by saying he wanted to get all of the facts before he said anything.