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June 03, 2017

Trump touts travel ban, pledges support to UK amid London attacks

As reports began circulating Saturday night about attacks on London Bridge and in the city's Borough Market, President Donald Trump touted his so-called travel ban on Twitter.

"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough," Trump wrote. "We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!"

Minutes later, he sent another tweet in which he pledged his support to the United Kingdom, writing "WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!"

A white van riding on London Bridge mounted the sidewalk and mowed down pedestrians shortly after 10 p.m., sparking chaos in the city, according to multiple news reports citing eyewitnesses. Police have said there are casualties in that attack.

There were soon reports of knife attacks nearby at the Borough Market, a popular food and drink spot. London's Metropolitan Police, which has tweeted updates on the attacks throughout the night, said, "armed officers responded and shots were fired."

Police then responded to a third incident in Vauxhall, but they later said a stabbing there was unrelated to the attacks.

Officials said the situation, particularly at Borough Market, was still unfolding Saturday night.

Trump's aforementioned tweets followed his first reaction on Twitter to the attacks, in which he retweeted a Drudge Report tweet that read, "Fears of a new terror attack after van 'mows down 20 people' on London Bridge..."

His attempts to temporarily block entry into the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim countries, among other things, has been blocked by several federal court decisions. Trump on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban to take effect while the court ponders its fate.

U.K. officials and law enforcement are describing both incidents in London Saturday night as terror attacks.

The incidents come nearly two weeks after a suicide bomber with apparent ties to terror groups killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Saturday night's attack comes one day before Grande's planned benefit concert in Manchester's Old Trafford stadium to honor the victims of the Manchester bombing and their families.