In the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack in London that killed at least seven people, President Trump took to Twitter to use the incident to argue for his stalled travel ban.
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
The president’s comment is notable for many reasons. Officials in London have not released the identities of the suspects who took part in the attack Saturday night, which killed seven people and injured 48. It’s currently unknown if they were British nationals or immigrants from one of the six Muslim majority countries Trump’s plan would restrict travel from.
Lower courts in the United States have blocked Trump’s executive order in part because during the campaign, Trump referred to it as a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." The administration has insisted the executive order is not a ban, but Trump continues to use the word when communicating about the policy.
"Glad we both agree the ban is a ban," the ACLU said following Trump's tweet.
None of this sat well with CNN’s Reza Aslan, a vocal Trump critic and host of Believer. Aslan blasted the president for invoking the developing situation in London in order to push his stalled immigration policy.
On Sunday afternoon, Aslan apologized for the crude language he used to express his shock over the president's comments.
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 4, 2017
CNN distanced itself a bit from Aslan on Sunday, noting he is not a CNN employee. But the network did appreciate that the host apologized.
"We are pleased that he has apologized for his tweets," a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. "That kind of discourse is never appropriate."
It's not the first time a CNN host has used profanity to criticize the president. Fareed Zakaria repeatedly used the term "bulls-" to describe Trump during an appearance on CNN Tonight back in March. The network also cut ties with comedian Kathy Griffin last week after she shared a graphic image of herself holding a severed, bloody head meant to resemble President Trump.
NBC News was also unimpressed with the president’s Twitter feed Saturday night. In addition to his comments about his immigration order, Trump also re-tweeted a link from the conservative website the Drudge Report that suggested the incident was a terrorist attack long before police made that determination.
NBC News dismissed the president’s link with its own unprecedented tweet:
Pres. Trump has used Twitter to share news report on London incident.
We aren't relaying president's retweet, as the info is unconfirmed.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) June 3, 2017
The president's decision to share an unconfirmed report about the London attacks comes days after he incorrectly claimed an incident involving a gunman opening fire in a casino in Manila was a "terrorist attack."
"Trump is in a position to be the most-informed person in the world," Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold said on CNN Saturday night, yet he keeps relying on "third-hand info."
Aslan used the statement by NBC News to criticize Trump even further, calling him a “man baby” and urging his followers to ignore the president.
Translation: the president is a man baby that must be ignored in times of crisis. https://t.co/Kv1hIC7hEG
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 3, 2017