The President of the United States has once again exploited a crisis in the UK in an attempt to justify his domestic policy, this time suggesting a lack of guns in Britain is the reason people are being stabbed in London.
Speaking at a National Rifle Association (NRA) meeting on Friday, Donald Trump said a top hospital in the capital was like a “military warzone hospital” despite “unbelievable tough gun laws”.
Pretending to stab someone, the 71-year-old continued: “They say it’s as bad as a military warzone hospital. Knives, knives, knives, knives.”
Trump may have been referring to comments made last month by Martin Griffiths, a lead surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust, who said military colleagues had described their work as being similar to a UK military base in Afghanistan.
But in light of the 4,856 gun deaths in the US so far this year, comparing it to the 56 stabbing deaths in London over the same period drew widespread scorn.
And it’s far from the first time he’s made such comments.
‘We’re doing just fine!’
After retweeting anti-Muslim videos posted online by a British far-right group, Trump responded to criticism from Theresa May by telling her to focus on “destructive radical Islamic terrorism” in the UK, rather than on him.
Trump added “we’re doing just fine” in the same year over 15,000 people were killed by guns in the US (excluding suicides).
Following the release of official figures in October last year, showing an
increase in recorded crime in the UK, Trump controversially linked the rise with the “spread of radical Islamic terror”.
His interpretation of the statistics, which included offences ranging
from burglary to fraud, prompted politicians to describe his comments as “inflammatory” and “ignorant”.
‘Must be proactive!’
After a bomb partially exploded at Parsons Green in London in September 2017, Mr Trump tweeted: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
The Metropolitan Police said the US president’s comments – which did not
correspond with any information released by the UK authorities – were
“unhelpful” and “pure speculation”.
‘No reason to be alarmed!’
After the London Bridge terror attack in June last year, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said people should not be alarmed by visibly increased security on the streets of the capital.
Trump sparked a backlash when he tweeted: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
A spokesman for Khan said the tweet was “ill-informed” and deliberately
taken out of context.
‘Police are afraid for their own lives!’
In 2015, during his campaign for the presidency, Trump told news organisation MSNBC that police were afraid to enter certain parts of London because of radicalisation.
He said: “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant.”
Then prime minister David Cameron dismissed the view as “wrong”, his official spokeswoman said.