Trump UK visit: New York mayor Bill de Blasio joins forces with Sadiq Khan to blast 'not normal' president

'To attack a major leader of an allied country, this was beyond the pale in so many ways'

Peter Stubley
Tuesday 04 June 2019 09:39 BST
Bill De Blasio defends Sadiq Khan from Trump attack

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has demanded Donald Trump apologise for his “extreme” personal attack on Mr de Blasio’s London counterpart, Sadiq Khan.

The city leaders joined forces to fire back at the US president, who hurled insults at them both on Twitter as he arrived for his state visit to the UK on Monday.

Mr Trump denigrated Mr Khan for his height and compared the Labour mayor to “our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio”.

“Even for Donald Trump this was extreme. To attack a major leader of an allied country, there’s no question in my mind this was beyond the pale in so many ways,” Mr de Blasio told BBC’s Newsnight.

“You know we’ve heard so many things from President Trump but this one is just not normal, it’s not acceptable.

“Sadiq Khan to me is an exemplary leader. He raised a very powerful concern which obviously sparked Trump’s ire when he said Donald Trump is part of this growing, intolerant, right-wing movement around the world that is harming democracy. It’s harming the realities of a tolerant society.”

The Democrat said the attack was both “personal” and a “political strategy”, adding: “This deserves an apology.”

Mr Khan returned the favour by tweeting: “Londoners appreciate the solidarity Bill de Blasio has shown to our city. Proud to work with him and mayors across the USA on our shared challenges.”

The London mayor had described Mr Trump as “just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” posed by the far-right.

He said it was “so un-British to be rolling out the red carpet” for Mr Trump and called on Theresa May to “do the right thing”.

It came after Mr Trump gave his backing to Boris Johnson in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party and suggested that Nigel Farage should be involved in Brexit negotiations.

Mr de Blasio said: “He was obviously quite comfortable with Russia attempting to intervene on his behalf of the American election. He’s now trying to do the same in other countries.

“This is a bad pattern for democracy; it is not the place of a foreign leader to attempt to undermine the democratic will of any people so I would say to the Conservatives: Stay away from him.”

The New York mayor said issuing endorsements was “not the place of an American president” as it “engenders ill will against the people of any country that hears that kind of message”.

Mr Khan renewed his attack on the US president by calling Mr Trump “the poster boy for the far-right movement around the world” in an interview on the Pod Save America podcast.

Mr Trump has not yet responded to the comments by both mayors but earlier tweeted that the “London part of trip is going really well”.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

He added: “Haven’t seen any protests yet, but I’m sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them. Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!”

Large crowds of protesters were due to join the “Trump baby blimp” in a demonstration against the president at Trafalgar Square on Tuesday morning.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in