Trump condemned for sharing far-right videos
US President under fire after retweeting anti-Muslim posts by Britain First
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.