The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric gives the impression the US President cares only about white Americans.
Speaking to CNN’s The Brief, Khan, a long-time critic of the President, said he felt “the long shadow of Donald Trump’s agenda” in the UK.
“The concern that we have is … when President Trump talks about America First – does he really mean white America first?” he said. “That’s a big concern for many of us.”
The British politician said the US President’s actions “on many, many occasions … gives us the impression that all he cares about is white America.”
“When you see … the President of the USA calling people rapists because they happen to be Mexican, having a travel ban against people of my faith, that leads to huge concerns across the world,” Khan added.
The London Mayor was speaking as Trump and other world leaders attended a two-day NATO summit near London, held to mark the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
Khan and Trump have traded previously insults but the British politician praised the US President’s conduct at the summit.
“Even I’ve got to give credit. In three-and-a-half years, there’s been a day where he’s been impressive,” he said.
“I should give credit where it’s due.”
Trump’s unorthodox behavior at the summit seems to have caused amusement among world leaders. A video, first circulated by CBC, appears to show French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson jokingly discussing Trump’s extended sessions with the press.
Khan, who belongs to the Britain’s opposition Labour Party, sharply criticized Johnson for “copying” the US leader’s tactics.
“You’ve got politicians in the UK and those in the far-right copying Donald Trump,” Khan said, adding that Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage were among those who aped the President’s language.
“There are people here who mimic him and copy him and he gives them succor,” the Labour Party politician said.
“He gives them confidence and views that used to be in the periphery, people who used to be in the margins, are in the mainstream.”
Khan said politicians were using tactics inspired by Trump across Europe.
“In Hungary, look at Orban,” he said. “In Poland, look at Duda, in Italy, look at Salvini, in France, look at Le Pen.”
The 49-year-old told CNN that the US President’s methods had led to “fears being stoked against minority communities.”
“It’s the very opposite of what NATO is all about,” Khan said. “It’s the very opposite of what the EU is all about. The very opposite of the multi-lateralism that the US and the UK have led on for the last 70 years.”
CNN contacted the White House for reaction to Khan’s remarks.
The Mayor has been busy campaigning ahead of the UK’s general election on December 12.
Discussing the upcoming vote, Khan said the “polls, frankly speaking, don’t look good for my party.”
Labour is embroiled in an antisemitism scandal and is accused of failing to address members’ racist behavior. Khan admits the party was too slow to respond.
“There is an issue with the Labour Party not addressing serious concerns around antisemitism of members of the Labour party quickly enough,” he said.
“Antisemitism is racism. You can’t have a hierarchy of racism. Racism is racism. We’re a party whose roots are anti-racist.
“It’s the case though and it breaks my heart to say this that we’ve been too slow.
“Many of my Jewish friends have said they can’t vote Labour because they think we’re racist.”
The British politician also faces a reelection campaign next year, when Londoners vote for their choice of mayor in May 2020.