Khan approved blimp depicting Trump as baby in diapers to fly above UK parliament on Friday (AFP)
US President Donald Trump, who is on an official visit to the UK, blamed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for militant attacks in the British capital, saying Khan has done a "very bad job on terrorism".
In an interview with English tabloid, the Sun, Trump slammed Europe's immigration policies as a segue into his attack on Khan, London's first Muslim mayor.
"I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad," Trump told the Sun.
Trump claimed immigrants were behind crimes and militant attacks across Europe. And although municipalities do not control immigration policy, Trump pointed the finger at Khan.
What he's actually talking about is Muslims coming to Europe and a Muslim mayor. This president launched his political career with Islamophobia.
-Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR
"You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job," the US president was quoted as saying.
"Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place. Look at what is going on in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism."
The interview was released shortly after Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Blenheim Palace outside London on Thursday.
The US president has avoided the city itself, where thousands are expected to gather to protest against his visit.
Khan earlier approved allowing a giant blimp depicting Trump as a baby in diapers to fly above the UK parliament on Friday.
Plus a dash of Islamophobia lobbed at Sadiq Khan who he blames for terrorism. Awful stuff https://t.co/JtnLneKvWI
— Rupa Huq MP (@RupaHuq) July 12, 2018
Trump's verbal assaults against Khan are not new.
Hours after an attack inspired by the Islamic State group killed several people in London last year, Trump used the occasion to criticise Khan.
"At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'" the US president wrote on twitter.
Trump had taken the mayor's word out of context. Khan had urged residents to be vigilant, saying they should not be worried about increased police presence.
Still, the skirmish goes back to when Trump was still a candidate. After the real estate mogul proposed banning Muslims from entering the US, Khan called him "ignorant", prompting Trump to challenge the mayor to an IQ test.
Trump is notorious for bragging about his own intelligence. Earlier on Thursday, he once again branded himself a "stable genius" at the end of a NATO summit in Brussels.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), slammed Trump's comments as "anti-immigrant hysteria."
"What he's actually talking about is Muslims coming to Europe and a Muslim mayor," Hooper told MEE. "This president launched his political career with Islamophobia."
Hooper added that Trump's statement against Khan is a continuation of the same bigotry against Muslims that he promotes in the US. "He's taking his same act on the road in Europe."
In the Sun interview, Trump also criticised May for her approach to the UK's exit from the European Union.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned earlier this week in protest against May, whose plan aims to preserve close trade ties with the European bloc.
Trump said the PM's scheme could affect a bilateral trade deal with the US.
"If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal," he told the tabloid.
The US president also lavished praise on Johnson, calling him a "very talented guy" who "would be a great prime minister."