Updated Jun 3, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump calls London mayor "foolishly nasty" after fascist comparison

This combination of files pictures created in Londno on July 13, 2018 shows Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (L).

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and President Trump. Photo: Odd Anderson and Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who compared him to "fascists of the 20th century" — and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio minutes before landing in the U.K. for the first day of his state visit Monday.

What he's saying: Trump tweeted Khan "by all accounts has done a terrible job" as mayor and that he'd 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!"
— Trump tweets

Context: Khan, a Muslim member of the left-wing Labour Party, made the fascist comparison in an op-ed in The Observer. He called out several of the president's policies and political stances, including the travel ban and child separation at the southern border.

What's new: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC Trump complained to him about "some of his very strong views about the Mayor of London" when he greeted the president and first lady Melania Trump after Air Force One had landed at London Stansted Airport.

Why it matters: Trump's visit to the U.K. comes at a moment of major political upheaval, with Prime Minister Theresa May serving out her final week in office after she resigned following her failure to get a Brexit deal passed. Trump's attack on Khan marks the latest incidence of him weighing in on British politics.

  • Last week, Trump expressed support for former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in the upcoming Conservative Party leadership contest and praised Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage — 2 of the leading figures in the 2016 Brexit campaign.

What they're saying: A spokesman for Khan said to the BBC "childish insults" should be beneath the president. "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," he told the BBC.

This article has been updated with the comments of Hunt and Khan's spokesman.

Go deeper