Donald Trump, the President of the United States, has struck back at the criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the president’s decision to retweet Britain First, the far-right group.
Trump said in a tweet: “Theresa @theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
However, the President seemed to have tagged the wrong user in his tweet. Trump later re-posted the said tweet, tagging @theresa_may instead.
PM May earlier said that the billionaire was “wrong” to have retweeted some messages by the deputy leader of Britain First that showed misleading, Islamophobic videos.
The spokesperson for Theresa May said: “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents – decency, tolerance, and respect.”
The Prime Minister has since faced pressure to cancel the US President’s state visit due to the incident.
On Wednesday, Trump prompted international confusion and upset when he retweeted three unverified videos which were first posted by Britain First’s Jayda Fransen.
One video had the caption, “Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches,” while another one claimed to display an “Islamist mob” forcing a teenager off a roof and beating him to death and a third video allegedly featured a Muslim man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
The first video was quickly debunked by Dutch officials. However, all three videos had been intended to prompt anti-Muslim sentiment online.
Sajid Javid, the UK Communities Secretary, said that the US President had “endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me.” The secretary added the Trump was “wrong” to have done so.
Fransen swiftly acted to capitalise on the attention that the US President had brought her, saying that she was “delighted.”
The dispute is embarrassing for the Prime Minister, who has attempted to establish a close relationship with the Trump White House.
She has pursued the new US President and hopes to strike a trade deal with the United States following Brexit – a key feature of the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington earlier in 2017.
The British Prime Minister was the first world leader to visit Trump after his inauguration and had hoped to establish the so-called “special relationship.”
Following the attacks of Trump, the director of communications for the Conservative Party, Carrie Symonds, said in a tweet: “Wrong twitter handle. And that’s just the start.”
The British Prime Minister was far from alone in having condemned the retweets of Trump, with faith groups on both sides of the Atlantic weighing in on the issue.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations stated that the President of the United States was ”clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims,” while the Muslim Council of Britain called the move as “the clearest endorsement yet from the US President of the far-right.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that the decision of Trump to retweet the said videos was “deeply disturbing.”
The Press Secretary of the White House tried to defend the President by saying that journalists were focusing on “the wrong thing.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”