Donald Trump lashes out at British prime minister over anti-Islam tweets
Donald Trump has told British Prime Minister Theresa May to focus on Islamic terrorism after she critized his right-wing tweets. It is unusual for a US president to publically rebuke the leader of a key ally.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday told British Prime Minister Theresa May in a tweet that she should not to focus on him but on "the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism" in the United Kingdom after she critcized his far-right, anti-Muslim tweets.
The public broadside against the United States' closest ally came in response to criticism from the prime minister's office after Trump earlier in the day retweeted anti-Islam videos posted by the UK far-right Britain First group.
Trump's retweeting of three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader Britain First, prompted outrage in the UK. Fransen had previously been convicted of a hate crime for hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf.
May's spokesman said it was "wrong" for Trump to circulate material purporting to show Muslim violence. Britain First's rhetoric is "the antithesis of the values that this country represents," the prime minister's office said.
Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to play down the anti-Muslim retweets, saying Trump wanted to "promote strong borders and strong national security."
"Whether it's a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about," said Sanders.
Trump earlier retweeted a video alleging a Muslim man destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Trump's tweets sour relations with UK
It is not the first time Trump has landed in hot water over tweets related to the UK.
In September, Trump used a bomb attack on a London underground station to call for tougher measures against terrorism in a tweet that criticized Scotland Yard.
The tweet said "sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard" carried out the attack, raising questions of whether Trump had shared classified intelligence during an ongoing investigation.
The tweet drew criticism from the UK prime minister and other politicians.
In June, Trump criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan for saying there was "no reason to be alarmed" after a terror attack on London Bridge and in Borough Market. He also used the London attacks to promote gun rights in the United States and slam political correctness.
US and UK political figures criticized Trump's tweets at the time.
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