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London mayor compares Trump to "fascists of the 20th century"

Sadiq Khan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan compared President Donald Trump to "fascists of the 20th century" in an op-ed in The Observer, a day before Trump is set to arrive in the United Kingdom for a state visit.

"Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat. The far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms and the values that have defined our liberal, democratic societies for more than seventy years. Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Matteo Salvini in Italy, Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage here in the UK are using the same divisive tropes of the fascists of the 20th century to garner support."

Why it matters: Trump's visit to the U.K. comes at a moment of major political upheaval, with Prime Minister Theresa May recently resigning over her failure to get a Brexit deal passed. Trump weighed in on the political crisis in a pair of interviews with British newspapers last week, expressing support for Boris Johnson in the upcoming Conservative Party leadership contest and praising Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage — two of the leading figures in the 2016 Brexit campaign.

In his op-ed, Khan — a practicing Muslim and a member of the liberal Labour Party — called out several of Trump's most controversial policies and political stances, including child separation at the southern border and the travel ban.

"No, these are not the actions of European dictators of the 1930s and 40s. Nor the military juntas of the 1970s and 80s. I’m not talking about Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un. These are the actions of the leader of our closest ally, the president of the United States of America."

Khan further argued that May, who has not yet left office, should issue a rejection of Trump and the "far-right agenda he embodies."

What to watch: Khan went on to say that he expects Trump's state visit will be one looked back on with "profound regret."

  • Trump will land in London on Monday, where he is expected to be met with mass protests that will include the return of the infamous Trump baby blimp.

Go deeper: Trump's state visit to the U.K. could get awkward