Over the past couple of years, we have become used to seeing President Donald Trump lashing out at his critics on social media platform Twitter. In recent weeks we have seen Trump use Twitter to attack fellow Republicans John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Bob Corker, and of course, Kim Jong-un’s North Korea is a favorite target. Trump has even taken a sideswipe at German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. It seems pretty clear that Trump will publicly attack anyone who dares disagree with him. However, few would have expected to see Trump turn on British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Yet a row has exploded between Washington and the United States after President Trump used Twitter to promote fake videos by Britain First, a far-right nationalist group with links to terrorism. As reported by CNN, President Trump shared three anti-Muslim videos posted by Britain First. All three videos have long been proven to be fake and that they serve no purpose other than to stir up racial hatred and anti-Muslim sentiment.
The group that Trump appeared to support is widely condemned in the United Kingdom, especially after British Member of Parliament, Jo Cox was murdered by one of the groups’ supporters. With feelings running high in the U.K. over Trump’s retweeting of Britain First’s racist message, Prime Minister Theresa May managed to put herself in Trump’s line of fire. As reported by Esquire, Mrs. May issued a statement that rebuked President Trump in the mildest possible manner. May’s statement said simply that “it is wrong for President Trump to have done this.”
As reported by the Guardian, Trump took to Twitter to tell Theresa May: “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!” It cannot be denied that the United Kingdom has suffered at the hands of Muslim terrorists this year. However, President Trump would do well to remember that more people were killed and injured during a single gun attack at a music festival in Las Vegas.
This is not the first time that President Trump has erroneously lashed out at the British government. In June, President Trump was widely condemned for his attack on London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of a terrorist attack. As reported by the New York Daily News, Mr. Khan has spoken out to condemn Donald Trump for spreading Britain First’s videos and thereby promoting “a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country.”
Khan has once again called for Theresa May to withdraw the invitation for President Trump to pay an official visit to the United Kingdom. Mrs. May extended the invitation to President Trump when she visited him in the White House shortly after his inauguration. Trump was initially invited to enjoy a “state visit,” but it seems that any possible visit has been downgraded to an “official visit.”
London Mayor Khan says that “after this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”
As reported by the Guardian, Theresa May has not made any public comment about President Trump’s Twitter message. However, she is due to give a major speech later today in mainly Muslim Jordan and may well address the matter in her speech or the ensuing press conference.