Trump con­demned for shar­ing far-right videos

US Pres­i­dent un­der fire af­ter retweet­ing anti-Mus­lim posts by Bri­tain First

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - SCOTT D’ARCY

Down­ing Street has con­demned Don­ald Trump for shar­ing in­flam­ma­tory anti-Mus­lim videos posted on­line by the deputy leader of the far-right group Bri­tain First.

The US Pres­i­dent caused out­rage af­ter retweet­ing to his 43.6 mil­lion fol­low­ers three posts by Jayda Fransen, in­clud­ing un­ver­i­fied footage pur­port­ing to show Mus­lims com­mit­ting crimes.

The Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fi­cial spokesman said Bri­tain First was ded­i­cated to caus­ing di­vi­sion among com­mu­ni­ties and that the pres­i­dent had been “wrong” share the posts.

White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said Mr Trump had been seek­ing to “pro­mote strong bor­ders and strong na­tional se­cu­rity”.

Pressed on whether the pres­i­dent had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ver­ify the con­tent of the post­ings, Ms San­ders said: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the pres­i­dent is talk­ing about.”

The posts in­cluded un­ver­i­fied videos ti­tled “Mus­lim mi­grant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” and “Mus­lim De­stroys a Statue of Vir­gin Mary!”

Fransen, 31, who was con­victed last Novem­ber of re­li­giously ag­gra­vated ha­rass­ment for hurl­ing abuse at a Mus­lim woman in a hi­jab, ap­peared to cel­e­brate the pres­i­dent’s ac­tions, tweet­ing mo­ments later “God bless you Trump”.

Else­where, they caused out­rage, with Down­ing Street mak­ing clear the Govern­ment’s dis­may at the way he had pub­li­cised the views of a such far-right group.

“Bri­tain First seeks to di­vide com­mu­ni­ties through their use of hate­ful nar­ra­tives which ped­dle lies and stoke ten­sions,” the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fi­cial spokesman said.

“They cause anx­i­ety to law-abid­ing peo­ple.

“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.

“It is wrong for the pres­i­dent to have done this.”

The wid­ower of MP Jo Cox, who was mur­dered by right-wing ex­trem­ist Thomas Mair as he shouted “Bri­tain first”, said Mr Trump’s post­ings were “hor­rific”.

Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn said the post­ings were “ab­hor­rent, dan­ger­ous and a threat to our so­ci­ety”, while the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, the Most Rev­erend Justin Welby, urged the pres­i­dent to re­move them from his time­line.

Top: a still from one of the videos retweeted by Mr Trump, above.

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