London’s Mayor Says Trump ‘Not In Same Class As Obama,’ Doesn’t Deserve Red-Carpet Treatment
London Mayor Sadiq Khan slammed Donald Trump on Friday ahead of his state visit to the United Kingdom next month, saying Trump is not in the “same class” as presidents who made such trips in the past.
“Of course we should have a close relationship with the president of the United States, but we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet; we shouldn’t have a state banquet,” Khan said during an interview with LBC, a British talk-radio station.
“History tells us only two presidents have had a state visit,” Khan said, referring to former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
“President Trump is not in the same class as those two,” added the London mayor, who has openly feuded with Trump in the past.
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Trump is scheduled to travel to the U.K. June 3-5, marking his first official state visit to the country since becoming president.
“It’s possible to have a working relationship without the need to have a state banquet and roll out the red carpet,” Khan said.
The London mayor said he hoped British Prime Minister Theresa May would confront Trump about his coarse language about women, which he suggested could encourage others to disparage female politicians.
“The impression is being given that you can get away from it — that you get a get-out-of-jail card. But it’s worse than that,” Khan said, referring to Trump’s comments about women who had accused him of sexual assault. “There’s a boasting and bragging, it’s almost like a green light for others to behave badly.”
“We’re their closest mates, we have a special relationship. That gives us a responsibility to call people out who we otherwise wouldn’t do so.”
Trump visited the U.K. in July and met with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, though that trip was not considered an official state visit. May extended the invite in January 2017, shortly after Trump’s inauguration, but the trip was repeatedly delayed amid fraying ties with the prime minister.
Trump and Khan have quarreled in the past, with the London mayor saying during the 2016 campaign that because he is Muslim he would be prevented from coming to the U.S. under Trump’s proposed travel ban.
Trump fired back and called Khan “rude” and “ignorant.”