London Mayor Sadiq Khan, not President Donald Trump, started the feud between the two leaders, and the president's tweets following the London Bridge attack on Saturday showed that Trump does "jab back," Rep. Chris Collins said Tuesday.
"I could argue the mayor started it months ago," the New York Republican told CNN "New Day" host Alisyn Camerota.
"Let's just say they are not friends. They are, you know, adversaries to the standpoint of jabbing at each other. One thing we know about President Trump is he does jab back."
The president came under fire for a tweet after the deadly attack criticizing Khan for saying there was "no cause to be alarmed." The mayor had commented that Londoners would see "an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days — no reason to be alarmed.
On Monday, Trump continued his criticism, saying Khan's excuse for his statement was "pathetic" and he had to "think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement."
At first, Khan did not respond to Trump's taunts, but on Monday said a planned state visit to the United Kingdom should be called off.
"I don't think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for," Khan said of Trump, with whom he has had a contentious relationship for months. "When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate," he added. "You stand with them in times of adversity, but you call them out when they are wrong. And there are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong."
Meanwhile, Collins said he enjoys Trump's tweets, and so do most of his supporters, "because he's jabbing in a way, working around the press. We can use whatever terminology we want, the fake news thing, but his supporters really, really love his tweets."
However, he denied Trump's tweets are "official statements," saying that such statements go through several legal filters before they are released.
"I heard someone say it's a view inside Donald Trump's mind or his thoughts, and it is," said Collins. "You could call it more direct because of that ... that's why his supporters love it. They really, really do."
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