LONDON – Donald Trump should stop tweeting after his “pure speculation” over the Parsons Green attack, the home secretary has said.
In an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Amber Rudd said: “It is never helpful to have speculation about an ongoing operation and I would include the president of the United States in that comment.”
On Friday, two hours after the attack, the US president tweeted: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!”
It was unclear at the time whether Trump was revealing confidential information the UK had passed to the US, but Rudd made it clear that the president was speculating about the identity of the attacker.
When asked if she was saying Trump should stop tweeting, the home secretary replied: “I don’t think I’d be the first person to say that, would I? We don’t want any speculation on an ongoing operation.”
During the fallout after the Manchester bombing in May, there were a series of leaks to the US media of sensitive information about the attacker and photos of the crime scene that angered the British security services.
The police moved to withholding information so more leaks would not occur, which was an unprecedented move. Trump promised an inquiry into how the details became public.
Rudd said: “Our particular complaint was an outrageous leak of material following the Manchester inquiry. But that was shut down. It didn’t happen again.”
The home secretary added: “That relationship with the American secret services and security services is very important to us for trying to track down the perpetrators.”