The foreign secretary’s comments on Monday morning came shortly after the US president kicked off his state visit in the UK with a series of astonishing tweets criticising Khan.
Before Air Force One had even touched down at Stansted airport, Trump branded Khan a “stone cold loser”, adding: “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.”
Khan’s spokesman responded by saying “childish insults” should be “beneath the president of the United States”.
Defending Trump’s tweet, Hunt told Sky News: “The elected mayor of London has made some pretty choice insults about Donald Trump.
“And all I would say is that this spat started because the mayor of London, and other people in the Labour Party, decided to boycott this visit and I think that is totally inappropriate.”
But the feud between Trump and Khan predates Labour’s stance on Trump’s visit by quite a margin – and Hunt’s claim that the London mayor started it is well wide of the truth.
It all began in May 2016...
The then-presidential candidate had called for Muslims from seven countries to be banned from the US, but after the election of Khan as mayor, said he would make an exception just for him.
In response, Khan, who is a Muslim, said he is “not exceptional”, adding that the views of Trump and his advisers on Islam are “ignorant” and invited him to come and meet moderate Muslims.
He added: “The vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding and peaceful (and) unequivocally condemn these acts of terror committed by a small number of people using the name of Islam to justify their nihilistic actions.”
Hitting back during an interview, Trump branded the statements from the Labour politician as “very rude” and “very nasty”, and challenged him to an IQ test.
After a wave of terror attacks in the capital, Khan said there was “no reason to be alarmed” by the increased police presence in the capital over the next few days.
Trump jumped in, and in a tweet said: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”
Khan responded by saying he has “better and more important things to focus on”.
Trump, clearly rattled by the calm response, replied on Twitter:
For good measure, Trump’s son, Donald Jr, got involved in the feud too in 2017.
He tweeted: “You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.”
Khan had in fact said the threat of terror attacks was part and parcel of living in a big city.
Last year Trump laid into Khan yet again, saying he was doing a “bad job” on terrorism and an even worse job running the capital.
“I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I look at cities in Europe, and I can be specific if you’d like. You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job.”
Speaking on Sky News, Khan said it was for Trump to “explain” why he had “singled me out” when terrorists had struck cities across the world, and why he was also responsible for immigration issues in Europe.
So there you go – plenty of history and more than enough evidence that it was trump that picked this fight.