Trump’s tough talk on London bomb irks British leader
WASHINGTON — Pr esi d en t Donald Trump’s suggestion that London police could have done more to prevent Friday’s homemade bomb explosion drew a quick rejoinder from British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said it’s never helpful “to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”
Trump turned the London subway bomb explosion into an opportunity to highlight his tough talk on terror and promote his travel ban.
The president’s series of early-morning tweets about the still-unfolding investigation stood in contrast to his delay last month in firmly condemning Neo-Nazis and white supremacists after racial violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, and left one person dead. At the time, he said: “When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. ... I don’t want to rush into a statement.”
The London bomb exploded on a packed train during morning rush hour Friday, leaving at least 29 people injured but no one with life-threatening injuries. Police said the explosion was a terrorist attack, the fifth in Britain this year.
On Twitter, Trump called the explosion another attack “by a loser terrorist.” He also offered implied criticism of law enforcement, saying “these are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
Asked about Trump’s comments, May said, “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing i nvest i gat i on.”
Trump told reporters Friday morning that he had been briefed on the explosion, but did not provide further details.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster suggested later that Trump was speaking generally. Noting that law enforcement has been working to combat terrorism for years, McMaster said, “If there was a terrorist attack here, God forbid, that we would say that they were in the sights of the FBI.”
“I think he means generally that this kind of activity is what we are trying to prevent,” McMaster said.
The White House said Trump and May spoke Friday. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s tweet “may have come up” but gave no further detail.
At an event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Trump said he offered prayers for London and said “radical Islamic terrorism it will be eradicated, believe me.”
As a candidate, Trump routinely railed against President Barack Obama and Democratic campaign rival Hillary Clinton for failing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” He has used the phrase more sparingly since taking office, avoiding it during his remarks on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Trump also used the moment to argue on Twitter that his travel ban targeting six mostly Muslim nations should be “far larger, tougher and more specific - but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”
And Trump promoted his handling of extremist militants, saying the government should cut off internet access for such groups.
“Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use bet-