Sadiq Khan: US will reject ‘divisive’ Donald Trump

Sadiq Khan

US voters will reject Donald Trump because his “ignorant, divisive, and dangerous” views play into the hands of extremists, Sadiq Khan believes.

The public spat between the new mayor of London and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee resumed after Mr Trump called the prominent Muslim politician “ignorant” and “nasty” in an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

A spokesman for the mayor hit back, saying: “Donald Trump’s views are ignorant, divisive, and dangerous — it’s the politics of fear at its worst and will be rejected at the ballot box just as it was in London.

“Sadiq has spent his whole life fighting extremism, but Trump’s remarks make that fight much harder for us all — it plays straight into the extremists’ hands and makes both our countries less safe.”

He said there were “no plans” to seek direct talks and mocked Mr Trump’s challenge to the mayor to take an IQ test.

“Ignorance is not the same thing as lack of intelligence,” he said.

Mr Trump’s campaign call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US led to almost universal condemnation from UK politicians — including British prime minister David Cameron, who called it “divisive, stupid, and wrong”.

Asked about potential future transatlantic tensions if he becomes president, the ultra-wealthy tycoon told Good Morning Britain: “It looks like we are not going to have a very good relationship.

“Who knows? I hope to have a good relationship with him but he’s not willing to address the problem either.”

Number 10 said Mr Cameron “has made his views clear”.

Mr Trump had appeared to offer an olive branch to Mr Khan after his election to City Hall — in the face of a Conservative campaign critics compared with the Republican’s tone — saying there would “always be exemptions” to the ban.

However, Mr Trump he said he would “remember” the hostile reaction he received from Mr Khan, who said his own election had shown voters would not back “divisive” candidates.

“He doesn’t know me, hasn’t met me, doesn’t know what I’m all about,” said Mr Trump. “I think they were very rude statements and, frankly, tell him I will remember those statements. They are very nasty statements.

“When he won I wished him well. Now, I don’t care about him, I mean, it doesn’t make any difference to me.”

Mr Trump said he was offended by Mr Khan’s public denouncement but denied he was “at war” with him.

“I just think it’s very rude of him,” he said. 

“In fact it’s the opposite. I wished him well when I heard he won, he’s a Muslim, I think it’s ignorant for him to say that.”

Mr Trump said the policies he mooted on the campaign trail were just “suggestions”, but said there was a “tremendous” problem with Islamic extremism.

He said: “It’s not Sweden doing the damage — we have a real problem and we have to discuss it. Number one, I’m not stupid, OK? I can tell you that right now, just the opposite.

“Number two, I don’t think I am a divisive person. I am a unifier, unlike our president now, I’m a unifier.

“We have a real problem and we have to discuss it. I have many Muslim friends ... I was with one the other day, one of the most successful men, he’s Muslim and he said: ‘Donald you have done us such a favour, you have brought out a problem nobody wants to talk about.’ ”

Rejecting claims he was anti-Muslim, he told interviewer Piers Morgan: “Absolutely not. I am anti-terror.

“There’s something going on that’s not good, there’s something going on that’s very bad, there’s something that you are not understanding and maybe the mayor of London is not understanding.”

British chancellor George Osborne said he and Mr Cameron stood by their comments in response to Mr Trump’s views on Muslims.

But he added: “But he is an American presidential candidate and we will talk to him because it is in our interest to talk to our allies.”

Asked whether Mr Cameron was concerned about Mr Trump’s suggestion that they might not have a good relationship, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister has made his views on Donald Trump’s comments very clear. He disagrees with them, and I haven’t got anything further to add.

“He continues to believe that preventing Muslims from entering the US is divisive, stupid and wrong.”

No proposal had been made for a phone call between the PM and Mr Trump, but Downing Street would be willing to consider it, the spokesman added.


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