Speaking in Baltimore, Hillary Clinton praises London mayor for leadership following attack

Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaking Monday in Baltimore to an organization that provides leadership training to African-American students, said the world would benefit from "steady, determined leadership" in response to the recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom.

Without mentioning President Donald J. Trump by name, or addressing his policies directly, Clinton pointedly said it was leaders overseas — including London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who were reacting to those events with poise and resolve. Trump criticized Khan in social media postings after the attack Saturday that left seven dead and dozens injured.

"It's a time for steady, determined leadership, like we are seeing from local authorities in London, including the mayor of London," Clinton said at the fundraiser in Fells Point for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel. "This is not a time to lash out, to incite fear or to use tragedy and terror for political gain.

"Normally this would go without saying, but we are not living in normal times."

Clinton's address — her first in Baltimore since she made a campaign stop in the city last year — was less political, and less focused on the election, than several of her more recent speeches. Much of her 15-minute address centered on the group itself, named after Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore and developed to strengthen relationships between the African American and Jewish communities.

The program provides leadership and public service training — as well as a trip to Israel — for a dozen Baltimore students every year. It is a 19-year-old collaboration between the Democratic congressman and the Baltimore Jewish Council.

"It has never been more important for young Americans to see themselves as part of a global community," Clinton told a sold-out crowd at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. "This program's mission of spreading tolerance is more urgent than ever."

Still, as she spoke in a city and state that overwhelmingly supported her candidacy last year, Clinton took a number of subtle swipes at the man who won the national election.

"I'm asked quite often these days, what can we do? And the answer is as varied as the questioners," Clinton said. "There are so many ways for us to reach out, bring people together, set some common goals and work toward achieving them, to help build that brighter future for generations to come and, yes, for building leaders by building bridges, not walls."

A White House spokesman and the chairman of the Maryland Republican Party did not respond to requests for comment.

Cummings, who underwent what aides described as minimally invasive heart surgery on May 24, did not attend the event and instead appeared in a recorded video message to introduce Clinton. Wearing a blue and white dress shirt, Cummings appeared healthy and spoke in his usual deep voice and cadence.

"I had to get a tune up," Cummings joked. "Feeling good."

Clinton's remarks about the attack in London followed an unusual exchange between the president and the mayor of that city. Trump posted Sunday on Twitter that: "At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'"

The mayor appeared to be making that comment in the context of an increased police presence following the attack. "Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days," Khan said. "There's no reason to be alarmed."

Asked about the exchange Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders blamed the media, which she suggested had misinterpreted the mayor's remarks.

"I think that the point is, there is a reason to be alarmed," she said. "We have constant attacks going on not just there but across the globe, and we have to start putting national security and global security at an all-time high."

Direct discussion of the election was absent from Clinton's address on Monday. Since reemerging into public view this spring, she has blamed Russian interference and ousted FBI director James Comey for contributing to Trump's win.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jfritze

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