Trump is picking fights, again, with British officials while they're trying to combat terror.
Once again using a terror attack for political gain, Donald Trump bashed London’s Scotland Yard less than four hour after a terror strike in the city’s subway system.
More than 20 people were injured following an explosion on the Tube’s Parsons Green line on Friday. Authorities have deemed the homemade bomb attack to be an act of terror. The crude device failed to properly detonate, but still produced a wall of fire in a subway car while at the Parsons Green station in London.
Trump on Friday morning immediately tweeted that that the suspected terrorists “were in the sights of Scotland Yard,” despite the fact British official have not yet released details about possible suspects. The implication from Trump was that London law enforcement had somehow bungled its handling of the alleged suspect.
It’s unclear whether Trump fabricated the claim or whether he was leaking sensitive information about an unfolding criminal investigation.
The former chief of staff to British Prime Minister Theresa May responded almost immediately to Trump on Twitter, insisting Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. “True or not – and I’m sure he doesn’t know – this is so unhelpful from leader of our ally and intelligence partner,” wrote Nick Timothy.
Noted one BuzzFeed UK editor:
Unless Trump is revealing info he shouldn't be, there is no information of someone involved being "in the sights of Scotland Yard" https://t.co/8fkaf2z21f
— Louise Ridley (@LouiseRidley) September 15, 2017
The British press quickly condemned Trump’s irresponsible move.
“Donald Trump leaked details about Parsons Green bombing,” read a Metro headline.
“Donald Trump attacks Scotland Yard after Parsons Green incident suggesting ‘demented’ terrorists were ‘in their sights,’” echoed The Mirror. And the Daily Mail highlighted Trump’s “shocking suggestion” about Scotland Yard.
British leaders are already furious that sources within the Trump administration previously leaked vital information to the U.S. media about a terrorist attack in Manchester earlier this year.
“British officials were outraged when photos of debris from the attack were leaked and published in the New York Times, the BBC said on Thursday. The images vividly show part of the explosive device and jacket worn by the suicide bomber,” CNBC reported. British officials provided the photos in question to U.S. intelligence.
That same month, Trump produced an international scandal when the White House made the unsubstantiated claim that Britain’s spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on Trump at the request of President Barack Obama during last year’s campaign.
Trump has a disturbing history of attacking London officials in the wake of terror attacks. In March, following a deadly terror attack in London, Trump took to Twitter to mock the city’s mayor: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
What the mayor had actually said in the wake of the attack was, “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”
Trump’s new attacks on one of America’s closest allies certainly do nothing to help the relationship between the two countries.