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AP: Trump's Words On London Terror Attack Fact-Checked

| by Robert Fowler

Following the terrorist attack in London that left seven civilians slain, President Donald Trump released a series of factually incorrect or contradictory statements on social media.

On June 4, three assailants drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking more civilians with knives. The attackers killed seven and wounded 48 before they were killed by the Metropolitan Police Service, CNN reports.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, but it has not been verified if the terrorist organizations provided support to the three suspects or were trying to parlay the tragedy into further publicity for their propaganda campaign.

Trump swiftly took to Twitter to assert that the London attack was vindication of his executive order to prohibit U.S. admittance of citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.

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"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough," Trump tweeted out. "We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!"

Trump's statement contradicted his administration's stance that his directive was a not a travel ban. Several U.S. courts ruled against the executive order on the basis that it was an unconstitutional travel ban, according to the Associated Press.

On May 28, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly stated that the president's directive was not a travel ban.

"It's a travel pause," Kelly told Fox News. "What the president said, for 90 days, we were going to pause in terms of people from those countries coming to the United States that would give me time to look at additional vetting."

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The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments about Trump's executive order on travel within a week. Legal analysts believe that the president's tweet effectively nixed his administration's hope that the court would reinstate the directive, The Washington Post reports.

"In case it’s not obvious, these will only undermine the government’s case before [The Supreme Court] for both a stay & on the merits of the [travel ban],” tweeted out law professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas.

Trump described the London incident as a terrorist attack before British law enforcement came to that conclusion. The president also drew criticism for accusing Mayor Sadiq Khan of London of having a relaxed response to the attack.

"At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'" Trump tweeted out.

The president's statement discounted the full context of Khan's remarks.

Swiftly after the three suspects were neutralized, Khan released an official statement alerting London residents that their city would have an increased security presence.

"Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days," Khan said, according to CNBC. "There's no reason to be alarmed."

The London mayor urged his constituents to remain vigilant because "an attack across the country is still highly likely."

A Khan spokesperson blasted Trump's statement, deeming it an "ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police -- including armed officers -- on the streets."

Sources: Associated Press, CNBC, CNNFox News, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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