US President Donald Trump retweeted three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right group early Wednesday. The videos were posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the group Britain First, who claims the men in each are Muslim. Later in the day, British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman criticized Trump's move, saying he was wrong to share the anti-Muslim videos tweeted by a U.K. far-right leader. May's spokesman, James Slack, said Britain First seeks to divide communities through its use of "hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions." He said "it is wrong for the president to have done this." But May's office said an invitation for Trump to pay a state visit to Britain was not being withdrawn. Opposition politicians are calling for the visit to be canceled after the far-right retweets.
The first video shows a man knocking down another man on crutches. The second shows a man destroying a statue of Virgin Mary. A third shows a group of men dressed in black, likely Daesh militants, beating a man and pushing him off a roof. "Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44 million followers! God bless you Trump!" Britain First wrote in a post. Its account has about 24,000 followers.
Fransen, the deputy leader of the group, has been charged with causing religiously aggravated harassment through 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" in a speech she made in Northern Ireland in August. She is currently free on bail. She was convicted last year of religiously aggravated harassment and fined after hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
Britain First was founded by far-right British National Party (BNP) in 2011. Fransen and the fringe group's head were arrested in September and charged with causing religiously aggravated harassment over the distribution of leaflets and posting online videos during the court trial involving the case of a number of Muslim men accused and later convicted of rape.