Washington, Nov 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has publicly rebuked British Prime Minister Theresa May after she criticised his sharing of far-right videos, the media reported.
“Theresa @theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday night.
“We are doing just fine!”
Trump’s message came in response to criticism from May’s spokesman over his re-tweeting of incendiary videos posted by the deputy leader of a British far-right group, reports the Guardian.
However, the “@theresamay” Twitter handle that Trump targeted does not belong to the Prime Minister, but a woman called Theresa Scrivener.
Minutes later Trump deleted and reposted the tweet, this time with the correct handle: @Theresa_May.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump highlighted videos from the feed of Jaydan Fransen of Britain First that purported to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a roof.
Another video claimed to show a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a third claimed to show a Muslim immigrant hitting a Dutch boy on crutches.
Fransen has been charged with using threatening or abusive language following an appearance at a far-right rally in Belfast this summer.
May’s spokesman made clear that May’s invitation to Trump for a UK visit still stood but said it was “wrong for the President to have done this”, the Guardian reported.
Trump’s move received widespread criticism.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “UK has a proud history as an open, tolerant society and hate speech has no place here.”
Opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, described the re-tweets as “abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society”.
He and several other members of parliament called for the state visit to be cancelled.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, also urged Trump to remove the re-tweets.
But the White House defended the President’s action, reports the Guardian.
The principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, told reporters on Air Force One: “We think that it’s never the wrong time to talk about security and public safety for the American people. Those are the issues he was raising with the tweets this morning.
“The President has the greatest respect for the British people and for Prime Minister May.”