Trump Criticism of London Mayor Shows Wrong Focus, Summers Says

  • Problem-solving, not personality issues, should be priority
  • Harvard professor sees first ‘post-rational’ presidency

Harvard University Charles W. Eliot Professor Lawrence Summers discusses the move by President Donald Trump to criticize London's Mayor following Saturday's London Bridge terror attack. He speaks with Bloomberg's Alix Steel on 'Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.' (Source: Bloomberg)

Donald Trump’s criticism of London’s Muslim mayor after the terror attack that killed seven people in the U.K. capital shows the U.S. president’s limited focus on problem-solving, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said.

“Why, with people dying in London, has the president chosen to make a political attack on London’s mayor a central priority of White House rhetoric?” Harvard University Professor Summers said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. The U.S. “problems are solvable, they can be solved, but you have to focus on them and not focus on issues of personality.”

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” Trump said in a tweet in an apparent reference to a statement in which Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to take the presence of extra police in their stride after the Saturday night attack.

Summers also said that Trump’s administration amounts to the first “post-rational” presidency in the U.S. The country’s stepping back from its global leadership role, as in the case of the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, is a sign of a “potentially catastrophic philosophy and it comes at a moment when we have the very serious terror threats,” according to Summers.

The Harvard professor said he can support an overhaul of air traffic control and applauds the president’s decision to deal with infrastructure. Summers, in the interview with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel and David Westin, added that he sees the chance for an infrastructure investment boost at well under 50/50 and that Trump’s budget plans “don’t add up.”

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