Plunging headlong into a high-profile spat with one of America’s closest international partners, Donald Trump suggested Theresa May focus on defending the United Kingdom rather than criticizing him.
“@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!” he tweeted, after an earlier tweet with the same message used the wrong Twitter handle for May.
.@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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Trump had drawn fierce condemnation at home and abroad earlier in the day for retweeting three incendiary anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy head of a British far-right group who has been convicted of a hate crime.
May said through a spokesperson that Trump was “wrong” to promote the “hateful narratives” of the group, British First.
Trump’s interventions in British politics have strained the so-called “special relationship.”
He has infuriated British authorities with his tweets on terrorism in Britain, including highly publicized run-ins with London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan.
Khan on Wednesday described Britain First as “a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified.”
Before Trump’s latest missive, the White House had scrambled to limit the fallout, saying that even if the anti-Muslim videos were misleading, the president was pointing out a real problem.
The Dutch embassy in Washington took the unusual step of publicly criticizing a sitting US president on Twitter.
“@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.”
Conservative Minister Sajid Javid said Trump had “endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing.”
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the retweets were “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat.” >