US President Donald Trump has compared an unspecified London hospital to a knife crime "war zone", as he defended gun laws in America.
Trump claimed that he had read about "blood all over the floors" of this hospital, speaking at the National Rifle Association (NRA)'s convention in Dallas yesterday.
He claimed that US gun rights were "under siege", and later added on Twitter that "we will always protect your Second Amendment" (the right to bear arms).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2018
"I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds," he told the NRA supporters on Friday.
"Yes, that's right they don't have guns, they have knives – and instead blood is all over the floors of this hospital.
"They say it's as bad as a military war zone hospital. Knives, knives, knives. London hasn't been used to that, they're getting used to it, it's pretty tough."
Trump mimed a stabbing gesture as he spoke.
The president did not cite the source of the article he had read, but it may have been based on the interview which trauma surgeon Martin Griffiths gave to BBC Radio 4 last month.
Griffiths, who works at the Royal London Hospital, said that "some of my military colleagues have described their practice here as being similar to being at Bastion", the former British airbase in Afghanistan's Helmand province. The Daily Mail summarised his comments in an article.
Labour MP for Croyden Central Sarah Jones said Trump was a "disgrace", and was "comparing apples and pears".
What a disgrace. Comparing apples and pears. Do we have a problem in the UK with rising knife crime? Yes we do. Is is any way comparable to off-the-scale US gun violence? No of course not. He should be ashamed. Trump: London 'like a war zone' – BBC News https://t.co/46vmRqQzMP
— Sarah Jones MP (@LabourSJ) May 5, 2018
Trump, who has also criticised Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for his handling of terrorist attacks, is due to visit the UK capital on 13 July.
But London was not the only European city to come under Trump's fire.
The president then turned his attention to the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead.
Miming a gun gesture with his hand and shouting "boom", Trump said that if anyone had been in possession of a gun then the terrorists "would have fled or been shot and it would have been a whole different story".
"Nobody has guns in Paris, nobody, and we all remember the more than 130 people, plus the tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded," he added.
He then proceeded to act out shooting individual people one by one.
In a move which was criticised by many as "hypocrisy", guns were not allowed at the NRA convention when Trump and other senior members of the association were speaking.