Donald Trump has hit back at Theresa May after she criticised him for retweeting video propaganda produced by the UK’s far-right fringe ‘Britain First’ group.
In signs of huge strain on the ‘special relationship’, the US President told the British Prime Minister to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place” within the UK.
Trump shared three inflammatory anti-Islam videos spread by Britain First’s Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen, and has faced cross-party criticism from the UK for spreading hate. But Trump appears unapologetic.
“Theresa May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
November 30, 2017
Trump’s initial tweet linked to a different Twitter user, instead of May’s actual handle. It was was later deleted and Trump tweeted again with the correct account for the British PM.
In an unprecedented condemnation of the White House, May had criticised Trump directly when her official spokesman said the President was “wrong” to have supported Britain First’s attempts to “divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tension”.
The 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.”
While Downing Street’s words were seen as unusually strong, another government minister went further.
Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, hit out at Donald Trump for endorsing a “vile, hate-filled racist” far-right group.
He said he would would “refuse to let it go and say nothing” after the US President shared the inflammatory anti-Muslim videos.
“So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing.”
The videos are either unverified or have been debunked.
The clips retweeted by Trump include footage of migrants allegedly assaulting a boy on crutches, clips of a boy allegedly thrown of a roof and a video claiming to show a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
.@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.
November 29, 2017
Muslim MP Nadhim Zahawi has written to the White House of his “strong discontent” over Trump’s sharing of inflammatory, anti-Islam videos.
He added that the American head of state should opt to spend time among British Muslims in their communities in places like Coventry, Birmingham and Manchester as part of any official trip to the UK.
Trump’s actions have increased calls for the Government to rescind a state visit for the US President, but Downing Street has said it still stands. “The United States is one of our oldest and closest allies. An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted. Further details will announced in due course,” a spokesman said.