Fact Check

London's New Mayor Threatens Trump

A statement by London's new mayor was framed to suggest that he threatened attacks against the U.S. if Donald Trump's anti-Muslim policies were implemented.

Published May 12, 2016

London's new mayor Sadiq Khan threatened Donald Trump with terror attacks if the candidate's proposed anti-Islam proposals were implemented.
What's True

London's mayor Sadiq Khan said that Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. would heighten tensions and exacerbate extremism.

What's False

Khan didn't "warn" or "threaten" Trump.

On 5 May 2016, Sadiq Khan was elected mayor of London, England, making him the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital. On 11 May 2016, the web site 100% Fed Up claimed Khan threatened Donald Trump with terror attacks should the United States ever implement his proposals to bar Muslims from entering the country:

How very moderate and tolerant of Sadiq Khan, to make one of his first acts as London’s new Mayor to threaten the United States. Perhaps someone will explain to London’s new Muslim Mayor that after 8 long years of being kicked around, America’s about to elect a new leader who won’t be entertaining threats or opinions of local Mayor’s in foreign countries.

The new Muslim mayor of London has issued a warning to Donald Trump: Moderate your stance on Muslims, or they will launch more attacks against America.

100% Fed Up cited a 10 May 2016 Daily Caller article that also suggested Khan "warned" Trump:

The new Muslim mayor of London has issued a warning to Donald Trump: Moderate your stance on Muslims, or they will launch more attacks against America.

Trump recently praised Sadiq Khan for winning London’s mayoral race, and said he would be willing to create an exception in his policy restricting Muslim entry into the United States in order to allow Khan to visit. But in a statement Tuesday, Khan dismissed Trump’s invitation, and also denounced his views on Islam as “ignorant,” suggesting Trump’s policies would increase the terrorist threat in both the U.S. and U.K.

Daily Caller, in turn, cited yet another article as its source, a 10 May 2016 Telegraph that also asserted that Khan "warned" Trump that his proposed policies would incite violence. However, the comments attributed to Khan in that piece neither warned nor threatened Trump:

Donald Trump's "ignorant" view of Islam could make both Britain and the US less safe, new London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned.

Mr Khan, who is the city's first Muslim mayor, has brushed aside the US presidential hopeful's suggestion that he would exempt him from his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The Republican presidential hopeful told the New York Times that he was happy to see Mr Khan elected, saying it could be "very, very good".

However the new mayor has hit back.

"This isn't just about me - it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world," he said.

Mr Khan added: "Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both of our countries less safe - it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of extremists.

"Donald Trump and those around him think that Western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam - London has proved him wrong."

In his comments, Khan speculated that Trump's policy proposals would sow division and fuel extremism, but the comments in no way "warned" or "threatened" him. London's new mayor specifically said that such policies would make both the UK and the United States "less safe," and that Trump's positions might cause relationships between "mainstream Muslims" (not extremists) and the West to deteriorate. No part of Khan's comments could be construed as a threat.

In November 2015, Trump was embroiled in controversy after fumbling an answer to a question about whether Muslim-Americans ought to be registered or "wear badges." On 7 December 2015, Trump issued an official statement via his web site "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on" (archived here):

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing "25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad" and 51% of those polled, "agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah." Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.

Mr. Trump stated, "Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again." - Donald J. Trump


In response to the policy, supporters of Trump claimed that President Jimmy Carter had banned Iranian immigrants and that a 1952 law prohibited Muslims from entering the United States. On 12 May 2016 Trump walked back his December 2015 statement, claiming that the ban "hasn't been called for yet" and that it was "only a suggestion."


Neff, Blake.   "London’s New Mayor Warns Trump: Let In Muslims Or They Will Attack America." Daily Caller.   10 May 2016.

Trump, Donald J.   "Donald J. Trump Statement On Preventing Muslim Immigration." DonaldJTrump.com.   7 December 2015.

Wilkinson, Michael.   "Sadiq Khan Warns Donald Trump's 'Ignorant' View Of Islam Could Make Britain And US Less Safe." Telegraph.   10 May 2016.

Wright, David.   "Trump: Muslim Ban 'Just A Suggestion'." CNN.   12 May 2016.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.