President Donald Trump Retweets Britain First Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen
U.S. President Donald Trump was criticized by the British government on Wednesday after sharing a series of videos with his Twitter followers showing Muslims committing acts of violence.
All three videos were originally posted to Twitter by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the nationalist group Britain First.
For this speech I was arrested in London transported by van & boat for 14hrs to Belfast, charged & face 2yrs in jail— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 30, 2017
I criticised Islam pic.twitter.com/jJeO6H66LE
In one video, labeled as “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches,” a Muslim youth attacks a Dutch teenager with mobility issues, who is on crutches. The Dutch teenager was punched repeatedly until he fell to the ground and then was viciously kicked several times.
VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches! pic.twitter.com/11LgbfFJDq— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 28, 2017
The Dutch embassy in Washington tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the Muslim perpetrator in the video was not a migrant, but was born and raised in the Netherlands.
The second of Fransen’s videos retweeted by Trump features a bearded man shattering a statue of the Virgin Mary.
VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary! pic.twitter.com/qhkrfQrtjV— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 29, 2017
In the third, a group of men, including one carrying a black flag, attacks another group, beating them as they fall from a ledge.
VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death! pic.twitter.com/XxtlxNNSiP— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 29, 2017
The videos were retweeted without comment.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said:
Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hate-filled narratives to peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law abiding citizens. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: of decency tolerance and respect. It is wrong for the President to have done this.
May is currently on a visit to the Middle East and heard of Trump’s tweets while in Iraq.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Trump’s retweets were “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that people concerned about the veracity or source of the videos were “focusing on the wrong thing.”
“The threat is real. The threat needs to be addressed,” Sanders said.
White House spokesman Raj Shah, speaking to reporters later on Wednesday, would not say how the videos came to Trump’s attention. Asked if Trump believes Muslims are a threat to the United States, Shah said “the president has addressed these issues with the travel order” barring people from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Fransen responded on Twitter by writing (in all caps):
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN'S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA! OCS @JaydaBF @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/BiQfQkTra9— Jayda Fransen (@JaydaBF) November 29, 2017
Fransen’s religiously aggravated harassment charge came as a result of a “Christian patrol” she participated in early 2016. She admitted to telling a hijab-wearing Muslim woman that her faith forces women to wear non-revealing clothing because “[Muslim men] cannot control their sexual urges” and “that’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent.”
President Trump has sought a travel ban on individuals from certain majority-Muslim nations, an evolution of the complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. that he proposed during the Republican primary. The travel ban, which has been the subject of multiple legal challenges, is necessary for national security purposes, Trump has said.