CNN Accuses Trump of Calling U.K. Incident a Terror Attack ‘Before Officials in London’ Did. He Didn’t

By Patrick Goodenough | August 14, 2018 | 7:30pm EDT
(Photo: Metropolitan Police, London)

( – CNN published a report on Tuesday taking President Trump to task for calling an incident outside the British parliament a terrorist attack “before officials in London” did.

He did not.

Twitter’s timestamp shows that Trump tweeted, “Another terrorist attack in London...These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!” at 7:42 AM eastern U.S. time (12:42 in the U.K.)

Almost four hours earlier (3:45 eastern; 8:45 U.K. time), London’s Metropolitan Police put out a statement which said that a man arrested after driving a car into cyclists and pedestrians and crashing outside parliament was being held “on suspicion of terrorist offences.”

“At this stage, we are treating this as a terrorist incident and the Met's Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation,” it added.

At 7:13 AM eastern (12:13 U.K. time) – 29 minutes before Trump’s tweet – Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu put out a fuller statement that again referred to terrorism.

“The man, who is in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody,” he said.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command.”

Scotland Yard was not alone in calling the incident a terrorist attack well before Trump tweeted.

At 5:50 AM eastern (10:50 U.K. time) – almost two hours before the president’s tweet – London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a statement saying in part, “Police have confirmed that the incident is being treated as a terrorist act. All Londoners, like me, utterly condemn all acts of terrorism on our city.”

“The response of Londoners today shows that we will never be cowed, intimidated or divided by any terrorist attack,” he added.

Khan then posted an excerpt of, and link to, that statement on Twitter at 6:17 AM eastern (11:17 U.K. time) – 85 minutes before Trump’s tweet

In its story, headlined “Trump tweets on London ‘terrorist attack’ as investigation gets underway, CNN took several digs at Trump:

“President Donald Trump on Tuesday again seized on what he called a ‘terrorist attack’ in London to call for tougher anti-terror measures, even though the incident was still in the early stages of investigation.”

Further down – after itself reporting that the Metropolitan Police were investigating the event as a terrorist incident – the CNN report continued:

“In addition to declaring the incident a ‘terrorist attack’ before officials in London, Trump said the perpetrators are ‘animals.’ Earlier this year, Trump defended himself for calling some undocumented immigrants ‘animals,’ saying he was referring to the gang MS-13.”

The report then went on to recall previous times the president had “seized on” a violent incident in Britain to call for strong response to terrorism, including after an explosion on a London subway last September and after a vehicle-ramming attack on London bridge last June.

ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks – the homemade bombing on the Tube which injured 29 people, and the incident in which three men rammed a van into pedestrians on the iconic bridge then stabbed others in a nearby market area, killing seven people and injuring almost 50 more.

Two people were injured in Tuesday’s attack, not seriously according to the London Ambulance Service which treated them and took them to hospital. They were later discharged, police confirmed.

Police have not named the 29-year-old suspect, who they said – as of Tuesday afternoon local time – was “not currently co-operating.”

Security Minister Ben Wallace told the BBC the suspect was “a British citizen. He came from another country originally.” He did not elaborate.

As part of the investigation, counter-terrorism police carried out three searches later Tuesday in central England.


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