WASHINGTON — A senior Dem on the House Intelligence Committee charged that President Trump’s response to the weekend terrorist attacks in London was “inappropriate for a toddler, much less the president of the United States.”
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) tweeted Monday that Trump is “dangerous” for “escalating a feud with a recently attacked mayor/key global ally. Based on a misreading of what the mayor said.”
“Those who wish us ill are noting the unhinged, demented behavior of the President over an attack OUTSIDE the US,” Himes tweeted Sunday.
The morning after the London attack, Mayor Sadiq Khan gave a TV interview in which he said Thursday’s general election in the country should go forward despite the attack and tried to reassure Londoners about the increased police presence.
“My message to Londoners and visitors to our great city is to be calm and vigilant today. You will see an increased police presence today, including armed officers and uniformed officers. There is no reason to be alarmed by this,” Khan said. “We are the safest global city in the world. You saw last night as a consequence of our planning, our preparation, the rehearsals that take place, the swift response from the emergency services tackling the terrorists and also helping the injured.”
Trump tweeted after Khan’s statements, “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'”
A spokesperson for Khan said the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police – including armed officers – on the streets.”
Trump followed up the next day with another tweet: “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!”
Khan said on TV Monday evening that Trump may not be welcome in Britain. “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” he said. “When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
On CNN this morning, Himes called the situation “today’s installment of the Donald Trump reality show” and defended his own tweets about the president.
“Why do I use language like that? I mean, you know, you need to be about 9 years old in your social development to understand when your neighbor, your friend, your brother, your sister, which is what the British are to us, have suffered a great tragedy. That the only decent response is to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry and how can I help,'” the congressman said.
“This is the reason I use the word dangerous. I sit on the Intelligence Committee, so I spend a lot of time thinking about those who would do us harm. And these are very smart people who watch us closely,” he added. “And they just saw the president of the United States respond to an attack in Britain less appropriately than, as I said, a 7- or 8-year-old would respond. So now they are thinking to themselves, what if we did something like this in the United States, could we count on the president to act in such a way that the American public — you know, would he act responsibly or not? And the answer is, of course, he would not react responsibly.”
On NBC Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway slammed “this obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president.” On CNN Monday, Trump’s deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka said media “obsess” about the president’s social media statements even though “a hundred characters is not policy.”
Trump tweeted this morning, “The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.”
Himes said Trump’s tweets should be viewed as “a window into the man’s mind.”
“And the mind that we see in this person who occupies the Oval Office is not the mind of somebody that we want in charge if this country is ever hit with a terrorist attack,” he continued.
Himes said he understands Trump “has retained the loyalty of a core group of supporters.”
“But, you know, if you sort of step back and look at any of his daily actions and the way he behaved in Europe, that in a way that caused Germany and Angela Merkel, another absolutely critical ally that we have both against terrorism and against Russia, to say, hey, folks, it appears that we’re now on our own,” he added. “And again, I could list this stuff but we don’t have time. The president of the United States is damaging the national security of the United States and making us a laughingstock around the world at a moment in time when American leadership is particularly critical.”
The congressman credited some of the people in the White House as “good, solid people,” and “I don’t know how they get up every morning and say, I have one of the most responsible jobs I will ever hold and the president just tweeted something that I would ground my 16-year-old for saying. I just don’t know how you do your job under those circumstances.”