The British government delivered a rare rebuke of President Donald Trump Wednesday for retweeting inflammatory anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant videos originally shared by a far-right U.K. political group.
Trump shared the three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the fringe group Britain First, which opposes what it calls the “Islamization” of Britain and has engaged in a series of stunts, including occupying mosques.
“It is wrong for the president to have done this,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.
The first video Trump shared claimed to show a Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. The second was captioned “Muslim destroys a statute of Virgin Mary,” and the third read “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”
NBC News could not verify Britain First’s claims of what the videos showed. Asked whether the White House has a responsibility to verify information before sharing it, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded that “whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that’s what the president is talking about.”
The Netherlands’ public broadcaster contacted NBC News and said that the group’s description of the first video was inaccurate and that it in fact showed two Dutch citizens.
Fransen thanked Trump for sharing the videos with his “44 MILLION FOLLOWERS!”
“GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!” she tweeted.
The husband of a British lawmaker who was killed by a far-right nationalist in 2016 slammed Trump for trying to legitimize right-wing extremists in the U.K.
“Trump has legitimized the far-right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours,” tweeted Brendan Cox, whose wife, Jo, was shot and stabbed last year in her constituency by a man who witnesses said shouted “Britain First.”
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SOURCE: NBC News, Saphora Smith