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Wednesday morning saw the typical flurry of tweets from the account of Donald Trump.
But alongside his latest attack on CNN, the U.S. president raised eyebrows by retweeting three anti-Islamic videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of U.K. far-right group Britain First. Fransen is currently on bail and facing four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment.
The videos claimed to show attacks by Muslims and had titles including “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
Formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party, Britain First is known for its stunts and protests, including the invasion of mosques.
Trump’s actions saw a near instantaneous backlash on social media, with many U.K. politicians attacking him from promoting a racist, extremist hate group. Even Piers Morgan joined in, urging Trump to undo the tweets, while it was pointed out that one of the videos he had retweeted was fake.
Under pressure, the U.K. government later said it was “wrong for the president to have done this,” describing Britain First as an organization that “seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions.”
However, it fell short of canceling Trump’s state visit next year, something many had been calling for.
Later in the day, Trump took to Twitter to attack British prime minister Theresa May for her response (but not before deleting a tweet in which he included the wrong Twitter handle).
In a message that provoked instant and widespread outrage, he said: “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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
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