The US president has circulated videos from a far-right British group on his Twitter account. The incident sparked outrage in the UK, with the British government condemning Donald Trump's actions as "wrong."
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday circulated anti-Islam videos posted on Twitter by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group in the UK.
Trump's decision to retweet racist videos from a British citizen convicted of a hate crime prompted outrage across the UK.
Opposition lawmakers called for the government of Prime Minister Theresa May, a conservative, to condemn Trump for sharing such content.
The tweet was wrongly addressed to @theresamay, a twitter user with six followers and not the British prime minister. Trump later deleted the tweet and wrote the same message to May's official twitter account.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to play down the issue, 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.
Britain First itself, a fringe group struggling to stay afloat as its leaders face impending prosecution and as it fights for supremacy among rival right-wingers, reacted with glee to the unlikely official publicity from the White House.
"The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has retweeted three of deputy leader Jayda Fransen's Twitter videos … God bless you Trump!" said a block-capital response from Britain First on the social media platform.
'Promoting a hate group'
Opposition Labour politicians in particular were swift to condemn Trump's latest controversial activity on Twitter.
"I want an unequivocal condemnation from all quarters," Labour MEP Seb Dance told DW. "It is not even remotely acceptable to normalize hatred. The strength of condemnation must be total so that patriots in America can see what is being done in the name of their country and act accordingly to remove Trump from office."
British lawmaker David Lammy of the Tottenham constituency in London tweeted that Trump "is no ally or friend" of the UK, adding that the US president was not welcome in "[his] country [or his] city." Vince Cable, who leads the Liberal Democrats, said there are "serious questions" on whether Trump should even be given an "official visit" slated for next year.
Britain First claims it has a "proven track record of opposing Islamic militants and hate preachers" and aims to protect the UK from "spiraling" migration. However, Fransen was found guilty last year of a hate crime after hurling abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf.
The group's leader Paul Golding and Fransen were expected in court on Wednesday on possible charges of "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior" over a fiery speech made in Belfast in August.
Golding wrote a plea to Trump to intervene in one of the court cases, saying Fransen "is facing prison for criticism of Islam … she needs your help!"
"The important message here is Donald Trump has been made aware of the persecution and prosecution of a political leader in Britain for giving what has been said by police to be an anti-Islamic speech," Fransen said.