Getty Images

GOP donors aren’t worried about President Trump’s swipes on Twitter at London Mayor Sadiq Khan just hours after a terrorist attack in Great Britain’s capital. 

While Trump’s broadsides shocked some international observers and have come under a fair amount of conservative criticism for their timing and tone, donors and fundraisers say it is classic Trump.

They defended the president’s public remarks, arguing they are in line with the candid, no-holds-barred Trump who defeated 16 other GOP presidential candidates and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential race.

{mosads}“I get it,” said Brian Ballard, a Trump fundraiser. “We’ve got a real war going on. We’re living in dangerous times.

“People are over the political correctness,” Ballard said. “When people are having their throats slashed, it’s not fine.”

Another longtime Republican donor — who contributed to Trump’s presidential campaign — called the public comments “refreshing.”

“This is why he was elected. He’s no-nonsense,” the donor said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about what he said [about the attacks] — at least in my world.”

Trump jump-started his feud with Khan with tweets on Sunday and Monday.

In both cases, he took public remarks by Khan out of context to make his point.

On Sunday, the morning after terrorists used a truck to hit pedestrians before exiting and attacking other people on the streets with a machete and knives, Trump tweeted: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’ ”

Trump also said his travel ban would prevent such attacks.

On Monday morning, after he was heavily criticized for the first tweets, Trump was back on Twitter with another swipe against Khan: “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM [mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!”

What Khan actually said publicly after the attack was that the people of London should not be alarmed by a larger police presence in the city as part of the response to the deadly attack.

Khan’s spokesman said Sunday that the mayor has “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet.”

There was plenty of criticism for Trump from Republicans.

Doug Heye, a GOP strategist and former senior House aide, took to Twitter to denounce Trump’s brash statements. 

“Such a destructive and unnecessary thing to say to our closest ally,” Heye wrote on Monday in response one of Trump’s tweets.

Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist at The Washington Post who frequently criticizes Trump, called the president’s behavior embarrassing. 

“His behavior no longer surprises us, but it should offend and disturb us, first, that he remains the face and voice of America in the world and second, that his fans hoot and holler, seeing this as inconsequential or acceptable conduct,” Rubin wrote. 

People closer to Trump, however, said they had little if any trouble with his remarks.

The Hill spoke to four GOP donors, three of whom raised money for Trump. None were critical of his remarks.

“I certainly am in full support,” said a third GOP donor. “He didn’t misunderstand the mayor. It was clear what the mayor said.”

In a telephone interview, Ballard acknowledged that Trump continues to get negative press for speaking his mind via his preferred social media megaphone. Still, he said, “He’s not going to buckle. This is what we’re going to continue to get.” 

Speaking his mind can be “lonely,” particularly in the face of such skepticism, Ballard said. 

But, he added, “Sometimes being lonely and right is how you have to be.”

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video