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Trump retweets videos critical of Muslims

President Trump waits for reporters to leave after he spoke in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 28, 2017, during a meeting with Republican congressional leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Trump retweeted a series of inflammatory videos Wednesday (Nov. 29) purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.

Trump retweeted them from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, a small fringe group whose profile was elevated by Trump’s attention.
The group’s tweets 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!”

The origins of the videos could not immediately be determined.

Britain First is a far-right group that opposes multiculturalism and what it calls the “Islamization” of Britain. It has run candidates in local and national elections, with little success, and has campaigned against the construction and expansion of mosques.

Trump did not offer any explanation for why he retweeted the videos, and the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment. The retweets came amid a flurry of early morning Trump posts.

It’s not the first time Trump has retweeted inflammatory content or posts from controversial Twitter accounts. He has shared messages from accounts that appeared to have ties to white nationalist groups. He has retweeted a conservative Trump supporter who used social media to draw attention to “pizzagate,” an unfounded conspiracy theory that claims Democrats harbor child sex slaves at a pizza restaurant. He has also retweeted doctored videos, including one that appeared to show him hitting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump offered anti-Muslim commentary, saying he would “strongly consider” closing mosques and insisting that “Islam hates us.” As president he has sought to ban travel from majority-Muslim countries. He said earlier this year that “we have to stop radical Islamic terrorism.”

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!”

Fransen has been charged with causing religiously aggravated harassment over leaflets and videos that were distributed during a criminal trial earlier this year. She has separately been charged with using “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior” over a speech she made in Northern Ireland in August. She is currently on bail.

She was convicted last year of religiously aggravated harassment and fined after hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

Trump’s retweets were condemned by Brendan Cox, whose lawmaker wife, Jo Cox, was murdered last year by an attacker with far-right views. Cox tweeted: “Trump has legitimized the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.”

Trump’s tweets were also condemned by TV host Piers Morgan, who tweeted: “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.”

(Jill Lawless contributed from London.)

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The Associated Press

13 Comments

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  • Provocative posts from President Trump normally represent an effort to distract us from something else, so the question is what bigger issue is he trying to hide? Michael Flynn? Jared? Manafort? Turkey? Ukraine? Putin? Wilbur Ross? DeVos? His finances? Roy Moore? North Korea? All of the above?

  • Trump and his mindless followers are barbarians who have breached our gate. Ironically, Trump is here posing as a savior from barbarism.

  • My guess is this week is the flap over the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    The agency created after the financial crisis to target unfair or abusive practices
    by financial institutions offering consumer products, including credit
    cards, mortgages and loans.

    Trump loves predatory lenders, which is ironic since most of his voters are likely to be victims of them.

  • Sorry Mr. Cox, he has no concept of shame. Nor does his press secretary, who stated today that it doesn’t matter whether the videos are accurate portrayals or not. The good news is that some of the attorneys opposing the travel ban can use this as proof of continuing anti-Muslim animus. One of them tweeted “Thanks!” this morning.

  • Pushing boundaries until the unconsciously longed for disastrous crash and a blissful return to the comfort zone of utter failure may be seen as the hallmark of a mal-brained psychopath.

    Along with the inability to feel remorse, the lack of fear of the consequences of their actions, the pathological lying, the need for revenge, impetuosity, narcissism, an inflated self-worth and the inability genuinely to feel any emotion other than raw, hate-filled anger.

    Oh – and the inability to plan and see through any but the most short-term of whims.

  • Not good enough RNS. You needed to also include the real stories of these videos. The Dutch press has confirmed that the story in Holland — was not about a Muslim attack at all. Another took place not in Europe, but in Egypt, during an uprising. If you are going to be a journalistic outlet, you owe us more.

  • I saw Sean Spicer on SNL which I don’t normally watch, playing the role of the press secretary. And what I noticed was how happy he looked – presumably to be out of that metaphorical den of vipers must have been a huge relief.

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