The Latest: Trump responds to criticism from Theresa May
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s tweets of anti-Muslim videos (all times local):
President Donald Trump says in a tweet that British Prime Minister Theresa May should focus not on him but “on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.”
Trump’s comment comes amid criticism, including from May’s office, of his decision Wednesday morning to retweet a string of inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
May’s office said it was “wrong” for the president to have done so.
Trump’s tweet uses the wrong handle to address May.
But he’s telling her: “We are doing just fine!”
President Donald Trump is stoking the same anti-Islam sentiments he fanned on the campaign trail.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted a string of inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
The tweets drew a sharp condemnation from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office, which said it was “wrong for the president to have done this.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was simply promoting border security and suggested that verifying the content was not a top concern.
Trump made anti-Muslim comments one hallmark of his Republican presidential campaign and has previously retweeted inflammatory posts from controversial Twitter accounts including some with apparent ties to white nationalist groups. As president, he has sought to ban travel to the U.S. from a number of majority-Muslim countries.
A White House spokesman is defending President Donald Trump’s retweets of videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims, saying, “It’s never the wrong time to talk about security and safety for the American people.”
Raj Shah spoke to reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One as Trump travels to Missouri.
The retweets of videos from a fringe British political group have drawn swift condemnation from civil rights groups as well as a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Shah says Trump has long raised security and immigration issues in speeches and tweets. He argues that the videos are nothing different.
Shah says “The president is the president of all Americans.” He says the tweets “were about national security and protecting” Americans.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman says President Donald Trump was wrong to share anti-Muslim videos tweeted by a U.K. far-right leader.
Trump retweeted three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First. Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime in Britain and currently faces more charges.
May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Britain First seeks to divide communities through its use of “hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions.” He said “it is wrong for the president to have done this.”
But May’s office said an invitation for Trump to pay a state visit to Britain was not being withdrawn. Opposition politicians are calling for the visit to be canceled after the far-right retweets.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is defending President Donald Trump’s posting of videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims, saying he wants to “promote strong borders and strong national security.”
Sanders said Wednesday that she was not sure how Trump found the videos, which he retweeted from the leader of an extreme far-right British group.
Asked if the president had a responsibility to verify the content, Sanders said: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”
She says she had not discussed with the president how it could impact his relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
British opposition politicians are demanding the government revoke an invitation to U.S. President Donald Trump after he retweeted videos posted by a leader of extreme far-right group Britain First.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted three videos from the account of the group’s deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, purporting to show violence by Muslims.
Fransen has a conviction for religiously aggravated harassment and currently faces charges of harassment and hate speech.
Opposition Labour Party lawmaker David Lammy tweeted: ”@realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city.” Another Labour legislator, Chuka Umunna, said an invitation to Trump to visit the U.K. “should be withdrawn.”
Prime Minister Theresa May announced in January that Trump had accepted an invitation for a state visit to Britain, though no date has been set.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is condemning President Donald Trump for retweeting inflammatory videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
The group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, says in a statement that Trump is “clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims.”
Awad says Trump’s posts “amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims.” Awad is calling on political and religious leaders to condemn Trump’s tweets.
Awad says that on Twitter, the council has recorded 3,296 anti-Muslim incidents this year. He says “we haven’t heard a peep from you. Some president.”
Trump retweeted the videos from a far-right British politician.
President Donald Trump is retweeting a series of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British politician.
Trump sent the Twitter messages Wednesday morning. The videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First.
The descriptions read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
After Trump retweeted the videos, Fransen quickly responded on Twitter, saying: “DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Trump has sought to ban immigrants from certain Muslim-majority nations.