London Mayor Sadiq Khan is handing Donald Trump a taste of his own medicine.
Trump loves to attack Khan on Twitter whenever the spirit moves him, usually immediately after some bad news emerges from the British capital. That the London Mayor is a prominent and successful Muslim politician likely fueled the acrimony between the notoriously racist and xenophobic president and the progressive mayor.
Now, Mayor Khan is returning the scorn that Trump has sent his way.
While attending the commemorative ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II in Poland this weekend — an event that the president pulled out of at the last minute as the category five Hurricane Dorian approached the southeastern coast of the United States, sending VP Mike Pence in his stead — Khan tweaked Trump for his lame excuse for the cancellation, given how the president was tending to the emergency preparations.
“He’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course,” the London Mayor sarcastically remarked.
It wasn’t just Trump’s lax and lazy management of hurricane response that Khan criticized the American leader over. He also lambasted Trump for seeding the ground for the most miserable purveyors of racist bigotry to emerge from the dark fringes of society to a wide national platform, some of them actually regularly retweeted by the president himself in his daily frenzy of social media activity.
“These people have been inspired by mainstream politicians who subscribe to their point of view,” Khan said. Trump “is a guy who amplifies racist tweets; amplifies the tweets of fascists; says things that are deeply objectionable. If I don’t stand up and call that out I think I’m doing a disservice to Londoners who chose me as their mayor.”
Indeed, Trump has not only provided an enormous platform for homegrown American racists through his retweets, but he has also regularly reposted tweets from infamous British right-wingers including known Islamophobe and white nationalist Katie Hopkins — a woman who proudly describes herself in her Twitter profile as “the biggest bitch in Britain.”
The ongoing war of words between Mayor Khan and Trump will likely continue as long as both of them are in office. Hopefully, Americans will ensure that the feud will cease once next November rolls around and will elect someone who possesses more of the mayor’s eloquence and competence. Or if we are really fortunate, Congress will come to its senses and oust him even sooner.
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Original reporting by Jack Blanchard at Politico.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.