UPDATED 11/29 4:08 p.m. ET: The White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is defending President Donald Trump after he retweeted three anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right account on Wednesday. While talking to a group of reporters, Sanders addressed the validity of the videos that Trump shared, adding that she didn’t know how he came across the tweets.
“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. And that’s what the president is talking about, that’s what the president is focused on is dealing with those real threats and those are real no matter how you look at it,” Sanders said. “The president has talked about the need for strong borders and strong security since the campaign trail, that’s not a secret. That’s something he’s going to continue talking about and continue highlighting in a lot of different venues and avenues.”
Original story below:
President Donald Trump is causing major controversy after he retweeted three anti-Muslim videos, originally posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of far-right British extremist group Britain First.
Trump, 71, shared the videos with his nearly 44 million followers early in the morning on Wednesday, November 29. The clips were originally posted by Fransen the day before.
The unverified videos were shared with captions that read “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches,” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary” and another two-minute long clip that was titled, “ Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”
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
Each video has since been retweeted more than seven thousand times, and they remain on the president’s Twitter account. The group has reacted to Trump sharing the posts with a message via Fransen’s account: “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!”
Fransen has been arrested in the past, including last November when she was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment for insulting a Muslim woman who was wearing a hijab. The Britain First political party was first formed in 2011 as a far-right and ultranationalist British political organization, and part of the mission statement on their website reads, “We want our people to come first, before foreigners, asylum seekers or migrants and we are overtly proud of this stance.”
People took to Twitter to call out Trump for sharing the inflammatory content, including Piers Morgan. The British journalist wrote: “Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump – what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists? Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets.”
Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump – what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists?
Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 29, 2017
Former KKK leader David Duke, however, took to Twitter to express his support for Trump. “Trump retweets video of crippled white kid in Europe being beaten by migrants, and white people being thrown off a roof and then beaten to death, He’s condemned for showing us what the fake news media WON’T. Thank God for Trump! That’s why we love him!” he wrote.
The president has previously used his Twitter account to make controversial statements, including his attacks on CNN, Hillary Clinton and others. He has also made strong statements against the Muslim community, and even signed an executive order to place a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries back in January.
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