Donald Trump heads to London on Monday for an official three-day visit, but the city’s mayor is making it known that the U.S. president isn’t wanted there.
In an Op-Ed published Saturday in The Observer, London Mayor Sadiq Khan compared Trump and other right-wing leaders in Europe to the European dictators of the 1930s and ’40s and the fascist military juntas of the ’70s and ’80s.
Trump, Khan wrote, “is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat.”
The mayor cited Trump’s neo-Nazi-sympathizing comments following riots in Charlottesville in 2017, his administration’s policy of stripping migrant children from their parents and tossing them into cages, and the “deliberate use of xenophobia, racism and ‘otherness’ as an electoral tactic.”
Khan also hasn’t forgotten Trump’s cyberbullying after a 2017 terrorist attack in London that killed seven and injured dozens more. “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’ Trump tweeted at the time.
Khan noted that Trump has been spending an exorbitant amount of time as leader of the free world retweeting Islamophobic and far-right content from racist groups, including those located in the U.K.
Khan wrote of the far-right leaders, including Trump:
They are intentionally pitting their own citizens against one another, regardless of the horrific impact in our communities. They are picking on minority groups and the marginalised to manufacture an enemy – and encouraging others to do the same. And they are constructing lies to stoke up fear and to attack the fundamental pillars of a healthy democracy – equality under the law, the freedom of the press and an independent justice system. Trump is seen as a figurehead of this global far-right movement.
That’s why it’s so un-British to be rolling out the red carpet this week for a formal state visit for a president whose divisive behaviour flies in the face of the ideals America was founded upon – equality, liberty and religious freedom.
There are some who argue that we should hold our noses and stomach the spectacle of honouring Trump in this fashion – including many Conservative politicians. They say we need to be realists and stroke his ego to maintain our economic and military relationship with the US. But at what point should we stop appeasing – and implicitly condoning – his far-right policies and views? Where do we draw the line?
That last question is a good one, and many in the U.S. are having the same debate, centered on whether or not Trump should be impeached (hint: yes, he should).
Trump and his third wife, Melania, who as first lady spearheads a nonexistent anti-cyberbullying campaign grifted from the Obama administration, will be guests of the Queen on Monday. A small protest is expected outside Buckingham Palace that day. On Tuesday, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May.
A massive protest is planned for Tuesday at London’s Trafalgar Square so that the “world will know that people here reject him and his toxic politics,” according to protest organizers.
Here’s an ad Sky News is running ahead of Trump’s visit:
And because Trump can’t visit another country without some sort of scandal as a backdrop, he tried to deny a misogynist comment he made about Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, in response to comments she made nearly three years ago.
In an Oval Office interview published Friday by The Sun, of all newspapers, Trump called Markle “nasty.” Later, he denied saying that, although his own campaign tweeted the audio of him saying exactly that.
In the same denial, Trump tried to rile up his base into attacking CNN and The New York Times, when the original source of his comments was his interview with The Sun. Hey, Be Best!