Trump Tells British PM To ‘Focus’ On Terrorism In UK, Not Criticize Him

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

President Donald Trump told the British prime minister that she should focus on combatting “Radical Islamic Terrorism” in the United Kingdom, instead of criticizing him.

“We are doing just fine!” he said in a tweet.

Trump’s tweets are likely in response to Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on Wednesday, in which her spokesperson said it was “wrong” for Trump to retweet anti-Islamic videos on Twitter that were originally shared by a leader of a British far-right political group, Britain First.

Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions,” the spokesperson said. “They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right. It is wrong for the President to have done this.”

Early Wednesday morning, Trump shared three unverified anti-Muslim videos on Twitter that were originally posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy head of Britain First who was recently convicted of religiously aggravated harassment. The videos supposedly show violence that Fransen claimed in her tweets was ignited by Muslims. Two of the three videos have been largely debunked.

The group Britain First is known for combatting what it calls the “Islamization” of Britain and has also campaigned against the building of new mosques. The group has also launched several unsuccessful political campaigns.

Outside the tweet to May — which Trump originally posted with the wrong Twitter handle for the Prime Minister — Trump hasn’t publicly commented on why he shared the videos.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday said it doesn’t necessarily matter if the videos were real, but said “the threat is real, and that’s what the President is talking about, is the need for national security, the need for military spending, and those are very really things, there’s nothing fake about that.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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