1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Backlash over Trump Jr. London attack tweet

March 23, 2017

The son of US president Trump caused a stir when he criticized an old tweet by London's mayor about the reality of terrorist attacks on big cities. Critics accused Trump Jr. of using terror attack for "political gain."

Donald Trump Jr
Image: Picture-Alliance/AP Photo/J. S. Applewhite

In the hours following the London attack, Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday tweeted "You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan," along with a link to a September 2016 interview with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

This quickly spawned criticism online and offline.

When asked about Trump Jr. in an interview with CNN on Thursday, Khan said that he would not respond to the Tweet. "I've been doing far more important things over the past 24 hours," he said. Khan is the first Muslim serving as mayor of a major Western capital. The administration of Donald Trump - and, previously, his campaign team - has repeatedly described Islam as a threat to the US and other Western countries.

Critics on Twitter

British Member of Parliament Wes Streeting, like Khan a member of the center-left Labour Party, called the Tweet "a disgrace," saying that Trump Jr. was of using a terrorist attack for "political gain."

Many of the over 14,000 Tweets responding to Trump's comment claimed that he was misrepresenting what Khan told the Independent newspaper.

Following a bombing in New York, the London mayor had indeed told the newspaper that terror attacks were "part and parcel" of living in a major city. But Khan also said that both citizens and security forces had to be vigilant because major cities around the world "have got to be prepared for these sorts of things" to happen.

Journalist Ciaran Jenkins tweeted at Trump, saying "Is this helpful @DonaldJTrumpJr? Did you even read the article before goading London's Mayor during a live incident?"

His colleague Yasmin Khatun Dewan criticized that Trump failed to mention that the article was several months old. "How dare you @DonaldJTrumpJr you take an article from @MayorofLondon from a year ago and do this at a time like this," she wrote.

Similar tweet by AfD politician 

Not everyone seemed to oppose Trump's take. German politician Beatrix von Storch of the far-right AfD party posted a Tweet that echoed Trump Jr.'s, sharing the same article with the caption "Terror attacks are an integral part of living in a major city."

Von Storch had previously drawn criticism in Germany in mid-2016, when she implied that only white players should be part of Germany's national soccer team. 

The Trumps' Twitter storms

Donald Trump, Jr. has repeatedly gotten into hot water over content he posted on social media. During his father's campaign for president, he shared a meme popular among white supremacists on Instagram. 

His father is also known for controversial statements on Twitter, such as when he claimed that Germany owed the NATO and the US "vast sums of money" or when  he criticized a judge who overturned his first executive order banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.