Leak or loose talk? Trump sug­gests Lon­don bomber was ‘in the sights of Scot­land Yard’

President’s words la­belled ‘un­help­ful’ by Theresa May af­ter se­ries of tweets call­ing for tougher ac­tion

The Daily Telegraph - - Terror On The Tube - By Nick Allen in Wash­ing­ton

THERESA MAY re­buked Don­ald Trump over the Par­sons Green Tube at­tack af­ter he sug­gested those re­spon­si­ble had been “in the sights of Scot­land Yard”.

Mrs May called the in­ter­ven­tion by the US president “un­help­ful”, as he ap­peared to claim Bri­tain needed to be “tougher” and more “proac­tive” in the fight against ter­ror­ism.

The diplo­matic row threat­ened to un­der­mine the spe­cial re­la­tion­ship and in­tel­li­gence shar­ing ar­range­ments be­tween the UK and US.

Mr Trump, not for the first time, also used the at­tack to jus­tify his con­tro­ver­sial pro­posed travel ban on peo­ple from some pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries en­ter­ing the US.

Fol­low­ing a back­lash against his com­ments the president said he would be tele­phon­ing Mrs May “right now”.

Sum­maris­ing that call, a White House spokesman said: “He con­veyed his sym­pa­thies and prayers for those in­jured in the ter­ror­ist at­tack in Lon­don. The president pledged to con­tinue close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the United King­dom to stop at­tacks world­wide tar­get­ing in­no­cent civil­ians and to com­bat ex­trem­ism.”

It was un­clear whether Mr Trump had re­ceived a brief­ing be­fore mak­ing his claims, in which case he leaked Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence, or if he jumped to a con­clu­sion with­out ev­i­dence about who was be­hind the at­tack.

In a se­ries of tweets, Mr Trump wrote: “An­other at­tack in Lon­don by a loser ter­ror­ist. These are sick and de­mented peo­ple who were in the sights of Scot­land Yard. Must be proac­tive!

“Loser ter­ror­ists must be dealt with in a much tougher man­ner. The in­ter­net is their main re­cruit­ment tool which we must cut off and use bet­ter!”

He added: “The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more spe­cific – but stupidly, that would not be po­lit­i­cally cor­rect. We have made more progress in the last nine months against Isis [the Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant] than the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion has made in eight years. Must be proac­tive and nasty!”

The tim­ing of Mr Trump’s tweets sug­gested it was un­likely he had been briefed on Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence, and UK se­cu­rity ser­vices later said they did not know who was re­spon­si­ble.

Af­ter chair­ing a meet­ing of the Gov­ern­ment’s Co­bra emer­gen­cies com­mit­tee, Mrs May said it was not “help­ful” to spec­u­late on an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and the po­lice were still work­ing to iden­tify who had car­ried it out.

In Down­ing Street, Mrs May said: “I never think it’s help­ful for any­body to spec­u­late on what is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices are work­ing to dis­cover the full cir­cum­stances of this cow­ardly at­tack and to iden­tify all those re­spon­si­ble.”

Her com­ments were echoed by the Metropoli­tan Po­lice who said the US president’s in­ter­ven­tion was “un­help­ful” and “pure spec­u­la­tion”.

Later, at the White House, Mr Trump was asked if he had any fur­ther re­ac­tion to the Lon­don at­tack.

He said: “No, it’s a ter­ri­ble thing. It just keeps go­ing and go­ing, and we have to be very smart, we have to be very, very tough. Per­haps we are not nearly tough enough.

“But that is just an ab­so­lutely ter­ri­ble thing. In fact, I’m go­ing to call the Prime Min­is­ter right now.”

Asked if he had been briefed on the at­tack he gave an am­bigu­ous an­swer.

Mr Trump said: “Yes, I have – on nu­mer­ous things hap­pen­ing, in­clud­ing North Korea. So I’ve been briefed, and I’m go­ing to get right now for the brief- ing.” He did not say whether any brief­ing had oc­curred be­fore or af­ter he sent his early morn­ing flurry of tweets.

Mr Trump was speak­ing out­side the White House where Frank Gi­ac­cio, an 11-year-old boy, was mow­ing the lawn af­ter writ­ing to Mr Trump ask­ing if he could.

Writ­ing on Twit­ter, Nick Ti­mothy, Mrs May’s for­mer chief of staff, said of Mr Trump’s claims: “True or not – and I’m sure he doesn’t know – this is so un­help­ful from leader of our ally and in­tel­li­gence part­ner.”

Sadiq Khan, the Lon­don Mayor with whom Mr Trump has pre­vi­ously clashed, re­fused to be drawn on the lat­est in­ter­ven­tion. He said: “I’ve sim­ply been too busy this morn­ing to look at my Twit­ter. My pri­or­ity is mak­ing sure that we do what we can to keep Lon­don­ers safe.”

Mr Khan fu­elled a row over po­lice cuts, say­ing Lon­don could not be kept safe of the Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ued to cut re­sources. He said: “Lon­don needs more re­sources to keep our city safe. Since 2010 we’ve lost hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds of the po­lice bud­get, re­duced po­lice sta­tions. For a global city like Lon­don, we will not be able to keep our cit­i­zens safe if the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to make the cuts they have been mak­ing.”

‘These are sick and de­mented peo­ple who were in the sights of Scot­land Yard. Must be proac­tive!’

‘I’ve been too busy to look at Twit­ter. My pri­or­ity is mak­ing sure that we do what we can to keep Lon­don­ers safe’

An armed Bri­tish po­lice of­fi­cer near Par­sons Green Tube sta­tion in south­west Lon­don fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent on a Tube train, right. President Trump, above, used the in­ci­dent to sup­port his pro­pos­als for a travel ban

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