New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan exchanged praise for one another Monday evening after President Trump compared the two liberal leaders as being “dumb” and “incompetent.”
The old feud between Mr. Trump and Mr. Khan was reignited Saturday after the London mayor repeated his 2018 argument that the U.S. president was undeserving of an official state visit to the U.K. In an op-ed for The Guardian, Mr. Khan wrote that Mr. Trump was “one of the most egregious examples” of the “growing global threat” by the far right.
Mr. Trump responded on Monday, kicking off his three-day official state visit in the U.K. by calling Mr. Khan a “stone cold loser” on Twitter.
“@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me,” the president tweeted. “Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height.”
Mr. Khan responded to Mr. Trump’s attacks in several interviews, slamming the president as a “poster-boy for the far-right movement around the world” and comparing him to an 11-year-old child.
Mr. de Blasio, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful and another favorite target of Mr. Trump, came to Mr. Khan’s defense during an interview with BBC’s “Newsnight,” calling the London mayor an “exemplary leader” who deserves an apology.
“Even for Donald Trump, this was extreme to attack a major leader of an allied country. There’s no question in my mind this was beyond the pale in so many ways,” Mr. de Blasio said.
“You know we’ve seen so many things from President Trump but this one is just not normal, it’s not acceptable,” he continued. “Sadiq Khan to me is an exemplary leader. And he raised a very powerful concern, which obviously sparked Trump’s ire when he said that Donald Trump is part of this growing, intolerant, right-wing movement around the world that is harming democracy. It’s harming the realities of a tolerant society.”
“This deserves an apology,” he added.
Mr. Khan returned the praise by tweeting, “Londoners appreciate the solidarity Bill de Blasio has shown to our city. Proud to work with him and mayors across the USA on our shared challenges.”