WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump touted his so-called travel ban Saturday in the wake of reports that people were hit by a van and stabbed in London, while also pledging assistance to Britain.
Without referring explicitly to the London situation, Trump wrote on his personal account: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
Eight minutes later, he tweeted, “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump had been briefed on the situation by his national security team.
A spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence said he also has been briefed on the matter and spoke with Trump from Air Force Two.
Pence also tweeted, “Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims, courageous first responders & all the people of London. As President Trump said: WE ARE WITH YOU.”
Earlier, Trump retweeted the Drudge Report when it referred to “fears of a new terror attack,” although the nature of the incidents had not yet been confirmed by authorities. Shortly after Trump tweeted, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a “potential act of terrorism” and London police later tweeted that they were “declared as terrorist incidents.”
A van mowed down pedestrians as it sped down London Bridge in the British capital Saturday night, leaving bodies lying in the roadway, a witness to the incident told CNN.
Also Saturday, a man with a “massive knife” entered a restaurant at Borough Market, just south of the bridge, and stabbed two people inside, a witness told CNN on Saturday.
Trump’s travel ban — which, among other things, would temporarily block entry into the US from six Muslim-majority countries — has been blocked by a number of federal court decisions. On Thursday, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban to go into the effect while the court considers its legality.