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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

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”