Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders filled in for Sean Spicer on Monday, the first briefing since the terror attack in London over the weekend. She said, in contrast to the London mayor’s comment, that “There is a reason to be alarmed.”
Despite a series of tweets in which Trump mocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan telling his residents there is “no reason to be alarmed,” the White House doesn’t consider President Trump’s comments as starting a fight with Khan.
“I don’t see the president as picking a fight with the mayor of London at all. I think, again, the president’s point… when the president talked about how we have to be more committed to national security, one of the reasons we have the travel ban here, through that executive order, is to focus on national security,” Sanders said. “That was the point he was trying to make.”
Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning to slam London Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling his recent explanation for saying there is “no reason to be alarmed” as a “pathetic excuse.”
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
Over the weekend, Trump criticized the mayor of London for saying there is “no reason to be alarmed.” Many pundits expressed that the president took the comments out of context because the mayor was simply saying an increased police presence offered “no reason to be alarmed.”
Sanders also said it is “utterly ridiculous” to suggest that Trump’s comments are a result of the mayor of London being Muslim. According to CNN, the mayor’s entire quote was actually, “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.”
However, the deputy press secretary shot down reporters who accused Trump of taking the London mayor out of context during Monday’s briefing.
“I don’t think that’s actually true. I think the media wants to spin it that way,” Sanders said. “The point is, there is a reason to be alarmed.”
Earlier on Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump on NBC’s “Today” show Monday, slamming the media’s “obsession” with the president’s Twitter feed. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” also mocked the president’s handling of the London attack with a droll pop quiz.
During the combative briefing, Sanders also said that the White House would not attempt to block former FBI Director James Comey from testifying before the Senate Intel Committee and mentioned that Spicer was at work but was simply too busy to take the podium.