President Donald Trump this week has been criticizing the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, over his response to the recent terrorist attack on London Bridge.
Khan this weekend told Londoners that they had no recent to be alarmed over increased police presence in the city. In response to this comment, Trump has tweeted his displeasure multiple times over the past few days, mocking Khan for this reaction.
Now that Sadiq Khan and Donald Trump are in a bit of a public feud, what has been their relationship up until this point? What is Sadiq Khan’s general opinion of the U.S. president? Here’s what you need to know.
1. When Khan Was Elected, Trump Said He Could Be an Exception to the Muslim Ban
Sadiq Khan was sworn in as mayor of London in May 2016, and in a subsequent interview with The New York Times, Donald Trump said he was pleased with Khan’s win.
“I was happy to see that,” Trump said, referring to Khan being elected. “I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good.”
At this point in the campaign, Donald Trump was calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. Khan is Muslim, and so Trump was asked if Khan would be able to enter the U.S under a Trump administration. The Republican candidate said that an exception could be made for Khan.
“There will always be exceptions,” Trump told The New York Times.
Khan had said after his election that he wouldn’t be able to visit the U.S. if Donald Trump became president.
“If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas,” Khan told TIME Magazine.
2. Khan Has Said That Trump’s Views on Islam Are Ignorant
Sadiq Khan has said that Donald Trump’s views on Islam are ignorant.
Khan originally made these statements in May 2016 at the height of the U.S. Republican presidential primary, and he was in particular taking issue with Trump’s proposed travel ban.
“Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists,” Khan said, according to CNN.
Responding to Trump’s comments that Khan could be an exception to the Muslim ban, Khan said that it’s not just about him.
“This isn’t just about me — it’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world,” Khan said.
Khan also said that London has proved Donald Trump wrong that liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam.
3. Trump Challenged Khan to an IQ Test
After Sadiq Khan commented that Donald Trump has ignorant views on Islam, Trump said that Khan was being very rude and bragged that he is much smarter than the London mayor.
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Trump was asked about Khan calling him ignorant, and Trump said, “Let’s do an IQ test.”
When asked if he was offended by what Khan said, Trump said he was because Khan “doesn’t know me, never met me, doesn’t know what I’m all about.” Trump also said that Khan’s comments were very nasty and that he will remember them.
“When he won, I wished him well. Now I don’t care about him,” Trump said. “I mean, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I mean, let’s see how he does. Let’s see if he’s a good man.”
4. After the 2016 Election, Khan Welcomed Those Upset by the Result to Come to London
On Election Day 2016, after Donald Trump was declared president elect, Google searches for how to emigrate spiked.
In response, Khan said that those who are looking to leave the United States following Trump’s victory can always come to London.
“I heard one of the most googled things since Wednesday has been, ‘How do you emigrate?’” Sadiq Khan said, according to The Evening Standard. “If talented people based in the U.S. want to come here to London, my message is simple — London is open”
Khan added, “And our website’s not going to crash,” referring to the fact that the Canadian immigration website crashed after Trump became president elect.
5. Khan’s Office Says He Has More Important Things to do Than Respond to Trump’s Tweets
On June 4th, Donald Trump criticized Sadiq Khan for saying that citizens of London have no reason to be alarmed following the London Bridge attack.
Khan’s comments referred to the fact that citizens of London had no reason to be alarmed when they saw increased police presence in the coming days; he was not saying that they had no reason to be alarmed over the terrorist attack itself.
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days,” Khan said. “There’s no reason to be alarmed.”
President Trump has dismissed this explanation, saying that the mainstream media is struggling to defend Khan’s statements.
Sadiq Khan has not responded to this latest criticism from the president, but his office issued a statement saying that the mayor has more important things to do.
“He 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,” Khan’s office said in a statement, according to The New York Times.