- President Donald Trump’s retweets of fringe anti-Muslim content was condemned by a leading conspiracy theorist on the far-right.
- “Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump’s Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics,” tweeted Paul Joseph Watson, a top InfoWars editor.
President Donald Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos posted by an activist from the fringe far-right group Britain First were too much for even one of the internet’s leading conspiracy theorists.
Paul Joseph Watson, a top editor at InfoWars, the site led by arguably the US’s leading conspiracy theorist Alex Jones,tweeted Wednesday, “Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump’s Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics.”
Trump’s early-morning retweets included three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First who has previously been charged with “religious aggravated harassment” in the UK,The New York Times reported. Fransen’s videos included footage portraying Muslims committing violent acts.
She tweeted alongside one, “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” Another was titled “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary.”
A third video was titled “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death.”
That first video, the one purporting to feature a “Muslim migrant” assaulting a Dutch “boy” was false, according to The Mirror. Authorities later found that the “Muslim migrant” shown assaulting the Dutch person was neither Muslim nor a migrant, the British publication wrote.
Britain First is an ultranationalist group that often trafficks in anti-Muslim conspiracies.
The tweets were condemned across the political spectrum, in the intelligence community, and in media.
“So it has all kinds of ripple affects, both in terms of perhaps inciting or encouraging anti-Muslim violence, and as well causes, I think, our friends and allies around the world to wonder about the judgment of the president of the United States,” James Clapper, director of national intelligence under President Barack Obama, told CNN.
Piers Morgan, a British television host and former contestant on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice who is often sympathetic to the president and his policies, blasted his decision to retweet the Britain First videos.
“What the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists?” Morgan tweeted. “Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets.”
Watson followed up on his initial message in a series of subsequent tweets.
“Also, optics aside…. If only the left was as outraged over the violent oppression of gays and Christians in the Middle East as they are over who Trump retweets,” he wrote, later condemning Black Lives Matter and Antifa as “extremist” groups the left “simultaneously” supports.