Responding to Donald Trump’s latest personal attack, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday that he would not bow down to the US president’s views and called on Trump to “explain why he has singled me out” for false accusations.
“It takes two to tango, and I’m not tweeting President Trump or saying beastly things about him,” Khan said, according to iTV. “I’m not going to rise to President Trump’s views.”
Khan also said “Trump is not welcome here” in London.
Trump’s latest comment on London’s mayor was made to British newspaper The Sun in an interview published Thursday, while Trump was visiting London.
“I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad,” the president said. “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.”
Khan pushed back in multiple media outlets on Friday, saying “it’s for President Trump to explain why he has singled me out for being responsible for these acts of terrorism, and no other mayor or no other leader.”
“I don’t think the rise in crime is because of immigration,” Khan told the BBC.
“It’s for Trump to explain why he thinks there is a link between immigration into Europe and the rise in crime,” he said.
He added that Prime Minister Theresa May needs to stand up to Trump.
“I think our Prime Minister should have the confidence to speak to the US President on equal terms and it’s for President Trump to say what he wants about me,” Khan told iTV.
But he said he is not attacking Trump in response to the president’s criticism.
Khan approved a request for a giant blimp depicting Trump as an orange baby to fly over London during protests on Friday. He defended the protests to Sky TV on Friday, saying, “it’s not for me to decide what’s in good taste, or bad taste.”
“Protests and marches and demonstration in London are not new, nor is it new to protest and march against American president,” he said.
“The fact that it may cause offense to somebody isn’t a good reason to curtail the hard-fought rights we have of freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” he told Sky TV.
Trump told The Sun that London made him “feel unwelcome” with the blimp.
Khan argued that former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were able to brush off previous U.K. protests, saying they understood that the U.S. and the U.K. share the right of “freedom of speech.”