Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shrugged off suggestions that anti-Muslim videos President Trump spread online Wednesday morning might be fake – because the ‘threat’ is real.
‘Whether it is a real video, the threat is real,’ President Trump’s top spokesperson told journalists outside the West Wing, according to CNN. ‘That is what the president is talking about, that is what the president is focused on dealing with, those real threats and those are real no matter how you look at it.’
President Trump retweeted three videos that purportedly showed ‘Muslims’ doing bad deeds, which were initially posted by far-right British nationalist Jayda Fransen, who has been convicted of hate crimes.
None of the videos posted by Fransen – who is the deputy leader of Britain First, a group that stands against the Islamisation of the United Kingdom – have been verified, with police saying that a ‘Muslim migrant’ portrayed in one, is a Dutch citizen.
Trump’s postings have caused outrage in the United Kingdom, as a number of members of parliament have said they want to see his invitation to visit the country next year rescinded. However, British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the visit will go on.
In the United States, media figures have condemned Trump’s actions louder than American lawmakers.
Huckabee Sanders said the president retweeted the three videos to start a conversation on ‘border security’ and ‘immigration.’
The first video purportedly shows a ‘Muslim migrant’ beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. A spokesman for the Monnickendam Police, where the incident took place, told MailOnline: ‘The boy in the video attacking a boy on crutches is a Dutch national.’
After that, Trump retweets a video of a Muslim man ‘destroy[ing] a statue of Virgin Mary.’
And finally, the American president retweeted a video Fransen posted where she wrote, ‘Islamist mob pushed teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!’
The third video depicted a gristly scene from the 2013 Egyptian coup as the teenage victims were celebrating Islamist president Mohamed Morsi being deposed by the country’s army.
One of the perpetrators of the crime, which took place in Alexandria, was carrying an Al Qaeda flag.
Last year, Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment after accosting a Muslim woman.
The charge stemmed from a January 2016 incident in which Fransen, wearing a political uniform and during a so-called ‘Christian patrol,’ accosted a Muslim woman named Sumayyah Sharpe in Luton, England.
Fransen admitted that she told Sharpe, who was wearing a hijab, that Muslim men force women to cover up to avoid rape ‘because they cannot control their sexual urges.’
The videos were posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right group that stands against the Islamisation of the United Kingdom
‘That’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent,’ Fransen told Sharpe, according to the Independent.
Sharpe was in front of her four children at the time.
Last week, Fransen was also charged with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior’ for a speech she made at a ‘Northern Ireland Against Terrorism’ event in August at Belfast City Hall, according to HuffPost.
Fransen’s Twitter account sent out a gleeful message after the president retweeted her videos.
‘THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN’S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS!’ the tweet said. ‘GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP!’
For his part, Trump has been blasted for rhetoric considered anti-Muslim.