British Prime Minister Theresa May has blasted President Donald Trump for his morning re-tweets of anti-Muslim messages put out by a far right group in May’s country, tweeted by a woman convicted of a hate crime.
The White House, meanwhile, has officially said it does not matter whether the videos are real, or fake. They illustrate what President Trump is talking about when it comes to border security, which is all that matters, the White House said in a statement.
Trump, early Wednesday morning, shared three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, an anti-Muslim activist who is an official of the right-wing UK political party Britain First. The clips were titled: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches,” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary,” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death.”
May condemned Trump for re-tweeting the videos to his 44 million Twitter followers.
“Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies sand stoke tensions. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency, tolerance and respect.”
Britain’s Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn savaged Trump’s tweets, calling the President of the United States’ behavior “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society”:
Also condemning Trump’s re-tweets – the husband of the Member of Parliament Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016 by a Britain First supporter:
Another MP, David Lammy, put it more strongly, telling Trump to stay out of the country:
The White House, meanwhile, defended Trump’s re-tweets, saying it does not matter if the videos are real or fake.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a group of reporters the authenticity of the videos is irrelevant because, she said, the threat of terrorism is real, and Trump’s re-tweets have started a conversation about border security and immigration.
“We’re talking about border security right now, we’re about the need for it… so I think it is accomplishing exactly that,” Sanders reportedly said.
Asked if the President of the United States vetted the video before posting, Sanders responded, “Whether it is a real video, the threat is real. And, that is what the president is talking about, that is what the president is focused on, is dealing with those real threats… You’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threats are real. And that is what the president is talking about.”
Also defending Trump’s retweets – David Duke:
Fransen, who originally tweeted the videos, was convicted of a hate crime in 2016 and, earlier this month was arrested in London for threatening behavior. Wednesday morning she tweeted to Trump: GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”