NEW YORK: Although the US presidential race has not even begun, Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump is taking on British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Sadiq Khan for making “very rude” comments about him.

He said: “It looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship. Who knows, I hope to have a good relationship with him (Cameron) but it sounds like he’s not willing to address the problem either.”

In a interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain Trump took exception of Cameron’s remarks terming his position on Muslims “as divisive, stupid and wrong”, saying “I am not stupid”.

A spokeswoman for Cameron told ITV he had made his views on Trump’s “Muslim ban” proposal clear and had “nothing further to add.”

The prime minister would “work with whoever is the president of the United States and he is committed to maintaining the special relationship,” the spokeswoman said.

Trump also took on London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan for lambasting Trump’s remarks on Islam saying it plays “straight into the extremists’ hands and makes both our countries less safe.” Mr Khan said: “I’m hoping Trump doesn’t win!”

He also dismissed Trump’s suggestion of taking an I.Q. test, saying, “ignorance is not the same thing as lack of intelligence.”

Khan told the CNN last week he hoped that Trump would not win the US election, describing him as “somebody who is trying to divide, not just your communities in America but who is trying to divide America from the rest of the world.”

Trump, who in December issued a press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” appeared to modify his position last week.

He said such a ban “hasn’t been called for yet” and was “only a suggestion.” Trump’s comments on Islam have provoked an outcry in the UK, and prompted parliamentarians to debate a proposal to ban him from the country for hate speech after a petition to do so attracted more than 500,000 signatures.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2016

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