(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's bogus tweets about British crime stats are attracting ire from America's closest allies

British politicians are blasting Trump, telling him to worry about his own problems in the country he governs


Charlie May
October 20, 2017 3:20PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump falsely attributed a rise in crime in the United Kingdom to the "spread of radical Islamic terror" which means one of only two possibilities: he deliberately lied, or he has no idea what he's talking about. At this point, it's become quite difficult to tell which is worse.

"Just out report: 'United Kingdom crime rises 13 percent annually amid spread of radical Islamic terror.' Not good, we must keep America safe!" Trump tweeted Friday.

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The numbers came from the quarterly report released on Thursday by the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reported a 13 percent rise in all police-recorded offenses throughout both England and Wales.

The report, which hardly even mentions terrorism, "said police had recorded 5.2 million offenses in the year to June, including gun crime, knife crime, robberies, sexual offenses, stalking and harassment, burglary and car crime," according to The Guardian.

This isn't the first time Trump has used European countries as an example to crackdown on terror. He attacked the mayor of London immediately after they suffered a terrorist attack and accused him of being soft on crime. Following the explosion of a bomb on a London Tube train in September, Trump quickly responded over Twitter that it had been the latest example of terror from Muslims before any conclusions had actually been made.

For those comments, he was criticized by British police and the country's prime minister, Theresa May. Trump received loads of criticism for his tweet on Friday. "Stop misleading and spreading fear. Hate crime is up and it is fuelled by the kind of populist xenophobia you peddle," Jo Swinson, the deputy leader of the UK political party, the Liberal Democrats, tweeted on Friday.  

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Labour MP Stephen Doughty said Trump was "talking nonsense," the Daily Mail reported.

"Donald Trump is talking nonsense about issues he doesn’t understand," Doughty said. "Yet again it is not helpful for the President of the United States to comment with ignorance on security and policing matters in the UK."

He added: "While we have had some very tragic and horrific terror attacks in the last year, this represents a very small proportion of overall U.K. crime. Donald Trump would be better paced looking at issues in his own country such as the huge number of deaths from gun violence which despite repeated atrocities from sandy hook to Las Vegas, the US government have failed to take action on."

Another politician, Chris Bryant, was just as blunt in his criticism.

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"You have more murders in New York or Chicago every year than we do in the whole country so we're not going to take any lessons from you," Bryant said. "And you clearly don't understand the difference between causation and correlation."

Trump has repeatedly used the fear of "radical Islamic terror" to fuel support for his bigoted Muslim travel ban, and his use of brute force as the only solution to solving terror. But most astonishingly, the president has ignored the obvious growth of extremism that's born in America and carried out primarily by white men.

 

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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Crime Extremism President Donald Trump Terror United Kingdom Wales

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