President Donald Trump’s assorted tweets about this weekend’s terrorist attack in London have put added strain on the relationship between the United States and its closest ally, the United Kingdom.
The BBC’s Tara McKelvey reports that Trump’s tweets attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan have “enraged” government officials, “especially those who work in counterterrorism.”
Paul Pillar, a former CIA analyst, tells the BBC that he doesn’t blame U.K. counterterrorism officials for being furious at Trump for attacking London’s mayor.
“It was just outrageous,” he explained. “If I were a senior official in British intelligence, my blood pressure would still be high enough to say: ‘If we’ve done any temporary shutting off of sharing, let’s just keep it shut off for now.'”
That said, he also believed the U.S.-U.K. intelligence-sharing relationship was too important for the president’s intemperate tweets to cause a permanent rift. In particular, Pillar said that U.K. intelligence services would simply allow time to pass from “the last insulting tweet from Donald Trump” to “quietly restore relations.”
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday defended Khan by saying the London mayor had done an “excellent” job in the days after the attack, while also pointedly saying that “it’s wrong to say anything else.”