After a torrid night, in which at least seven people were killed in a terrorist rampage by three knife-wielding assailants in London, President Trump took to Twitter to warn terrorism will “only get worse” if officials don’t “get down to the business of security for our own people” and end political correctness.
“We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse,” he tweeted just after 7am ET on Sunday as the world reeled from the third deadly terrorist attack in the UK in less than three months.
Trump also mocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s appeal for calm: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’ ” Trump said in a subsequent tweet.
“This is our city… and we will never be cowed by terrorism,” Mayor Khan said during a statement in which he called those behind the attack “barbaric cowards.”
In a statement to the BBC, Khan said “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is ensure that we’re as safe as we possibly can be,” he continued.
Trump also focused on the weapons used in the attack, pointing out the absence of guns used and the resulting lack of a “gun debate”.
Late on Saturday, when details of the terrorist attack first emerged Trump renewed his call for the courts to approve his executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries prompting a harsh response from his critics who accused him of using a tragedy for promoting his political agenda.
“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights,” Trump tweeted. “We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
Trump last week petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider the legality of his travel ban. The DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement the department had “asked the Supreme Court to hear this important case and [is] confident that President Trump’s executive order is well within his lawful authority to keep the nation safe and protect our communities from terrorism.
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Meanwhile, Theresa May appeared to side with Trump, when she called for the country to unite after Saturday’s attack, saying can not “pretend that things can continue as they are.”
“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change,” May said in a statement Sunday. May said the recent attacks in England are bound together “by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.”
“Defeating that ideology is one of the great challenges of our time.” May added that the ideology cannot be given the “safe space it needs to breed.”
The Prime Minister also said Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy must be reviewed due to “what we are learning about the changing threat.”
“Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public,” she said. “But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
The country’s response to the violence, she said, needs to be to unite. “We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.”