Assuming Muslims Behind London Attack, Trump Again Drops "Know the Facts" Rule

Images of British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump are displayed at a pro-migrant rally at London's Parliament Square on February 20, 2017.(Photo: Public domain/flickr/cc)

Assuming Muslims Behind London Attack, Trump Again Drops "Know the Facts" Rule

U.K. officials denounce "unhelpful" speculation as U.S. president demands "nasty" response to Friday morning Tube blast

After a female anti-racist demonstrator was killed in Charlottesville last month, President Donald Trump said he likes to "know the facts" before responding to such violence. But once again Friday, Trump leapt to Twitter with speculative remarks, belligerent demands for action, and a push for his ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim nations after a bomb attack injured multiple people in London.

British officials rebuked Trump after he quickly responded to the Friday morning rush hour blast on the London Tube with a series of tweets, saying it is necessary to be "proactive and nasty" and suggesting a response including "cutting off" the internet and somehow both broadening and narrowing his administration's so-called Muslim ban.

Twenty-three people sustained non-life-threatening injuries after an improvised explosive device went off, but failed to fully explode, in a train at the Parsons Green London Underground train station. Authorities say they are investigating the incident as terrorism, and that a manhunt is underway.

Though no details had yet been released by law enforcement officials in the U.K. about who might be behind the incident or what the possible motivations might be,Trump took to his Twitter account to post his reactions, issuing four related tweets in an 18-minute span:

His response was not welcomed by the U.K..

Asked by a reporter if Trump's tweet saying the explosion was carried out by people "in the sights of Scotland Yard" was based on confidential information, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, "I never think it's helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation."

"The comments are unhelpful and pure speculation," said a spokesperson from Scotland Yard. "If anyone has got any evidence or information, please contact the anti-terrorism hotline."

May's former chief of staff Nick Timothy tweeted of Trump's posts: "True or not--and I'm sure he doesn't know--this is so unhelpful from leader of our ally and intelligence partner."

Former Conservative lawmaker Ben Howlett had a similar reaction, tweeting: "It is highly unhelpful/dangerous and inappropriate for an ally to make announcements that share intelligence and undermine investigations."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, said he's been too focused on working with the appropriate authorities and agencies in the wake of the blast to give Twitter a look.

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