President Donald Trump drew widespread criticism for retweeting three misleading and Islamophobic videos from a British far-right extremist.
But now, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, has condemned Trump’s decision to share the misleading tweets. May, the leader of the British Conservative Party, said it was “wrong for the president to have” shared the videos.
May issued the following statement on the matter via a spokesperson:
“Britain First seeks to divide communities in the use of hateful narratives which pedal lies and stoke tensions. This causes anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelming reject the prejudice rhetoric of the far-right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents; decency, tolerance and respect. It is wrong for the president to have done this.”
Trump spoke frequently about keeping Muslims from entering the U.S. on the campaign trail and has since tried to push via executive order a legally questionable travel ban on people entering the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries. His retweeting of anti-Muslim video clips further confirms his Islamophobia.
But the videos Trump retweeted from Britain First’s Jayda Fransen have been deemed old and do not show what the captions promise. The videos purport to show Muslims committing acts of violence towards western people, but they have been proven to be inaccurate descriptions. In one case, there are no Muslims at all in the video.
Britain First is a far-right, fringe party with a history of sharing fake videos and misleading media. The ultranationalist group is no stranger to controversy, and Fransen — whose account Trump retweeted — was arrested in Belfast this year for a hateful speech and was found guilty in 2016 of abusing a Muslim woman and her children.