(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought Donald Trump was "wrong" to attack London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of Saturday’s terror attack in London.
After avoiding several attempts by reporters to get her to condemn the U.S. president for openly criticizing Khan in a series of tweets hours after the attack at London Bridge that killed seven people and left dozens injured, May was asked what it would take for her to criticize Trump. She reiterated her disappointment over his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, before being eventually forced to defend the capital’s mayor.
“Sadiq Khan is doing a good job," she told a press conference in central London, when asked if Trump was wrong to attack the mayor’s call for calm in the wake of the attacks. "It’s wrong to say anything else.”
May has been attacked by both the opposition Labour Party and the media for her reluctance to publicly criticize Trump. As well as mocking Khan, Trump sought to turn the London attacks to domestic political advantage by renewing his call to ban travel from some Muslim-majority countries. May’s criticism Monday follows her openly complaining last month about U.S. security agencies leaking details of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, which British police said hurt their investigation.
While she used her disapproval of Trump pulling out of the Paris accord to illustrate that she was “not afraid to say when President Trump gets things wrong,” her name was notably absent from a joint statement last week by her European counterparts condemning the withdrawal.
Shortly after Saturday’s attacks and before they were confirmed as terrorist events, Trump took to Twitter to say “we need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety.” He followed that about eight minutes later with a more conventional expression of concern: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!” His criticism of Khan followed later on.
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”, Trump said at about 7:30 a.m. Washington time on Sunday.