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Donald Trump renews attack on Sadiq Khan, demands tougher vetting of immigrants

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday returned to his offensive criticism of London’s Pakistani- origin mayor Sadiq Khan, calling his assuring statements to Londoners a “pathetic excuse”, and renewed the demand for a tougher travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations.

Trump on Sunday had slammed Khan after the attack on London Bridge that killed seven people and injured 49. He referred to an interview Khan gave to BBC in which he told Londoners that they “will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”

On Monday, the US president doubled down on his criticism of Khan, whose spokesman has said he would not respond personally to Trump. “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!” Trump said in a tweet, which also criticised the mainstream media (MSM). He forcefully referred to his controversial executive order on immigration—that seeks to block people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US - as a “travel ban”.

Also Read: Trump criticized for tweet on London mayor Sadiq Khan after bridge attacks

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” he said, and in another tweet added that: “The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to Supreme Court.”

The Justice Department last week asked the US supreme court to reinstate Trump’s executive order banning travel to the US from the six Muslim-majority nations while it appeals a lower-court ruling that upheld a nationwide block on the ban. “The Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered-down travel ban before the Supreme Court - and seek much tougher version!” Trump tweeted.

Trump has used the London attacks—in which three men plowed a van into pedestrians on the iconic London Bridge and went on a stabbing spree in a nearby market - to promote and call for support for his travel ban. Today, he also accused the American courts of being “slow” and “political”. “In any event, we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the US in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!” Trump said. He followed that by calling the Democrats “obstructionist”. “Democrats are taking forever to approve my people, including ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals,” he said.

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