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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter amid the unfolding deadly drama in London on Saturday to offer U.S. help to Britain and to promote his controversial travel ban as an extra level of security for Americans.
British police rushed to two incidents in central London after a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge and reports emerged of multiple stabbings in the nearby Borough Market area. Police said the attacks had been declared terrorist incidents.
"Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!" Trump said in one of two tweets.
"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!" he said in the other.
Trump's appeal for his travel ban followed his emergency request that the Supreme Court reinstate the executive order that would bar people entering the United States from six predominantly Muslim countries. It has been blocked by lower courts.
Trump was briefed earlier about the London Bridge incident by his national security team, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who said on Twitter that security officials would continue providing the president with updates.
The State Department also said it was monitoring the situation in London closely, and advised American citizens in Britain to heed the advice of local authorities and maintain their security awareness.
The president says the travel ban, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, is needed to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. Critics say his reasoning is flawed and assail the ban as discriminatory.
On Thursday, his legal team asked the high court to allow the March 6 executive order to take effect immediately despite being blocked by lower courts. The Supreme Court rarely grants emergency requests.
Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Mary Milliken