Donald Trump's Twitter account has shared three graphic, inflammatory videos posted by a British far-right group with a history of religious harassment.
The US president's personal Twitter account, which has 43 million followers, retweeted three posts by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the Britain First group. Fransen regularly shares unsourced anti-Muslim videos. Trump's account retweeted three recent videos without any comment or context, including one horrifying video that appears to show someone being pushed off a roof.
Trump's BBC that Britain First used "hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions." David Lammy, a member of Parliament for the Labour Party, tweeted that Trump is "promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted."has set off a wave of criticism and concern that it may encourage anti-Muslim violence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman told the
A White House spokesman said the retweet was about "security and safety for the American people," according to an Associated Press transcript posted by Fox News.
The White House wasn't immediately available to provide further comment.
Fringe political group Britain First spun out of the extreme right-wing British National Party in 2011. In 2016, Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment after shouting abuse at a Muslim woman in front of her children.
Wednesday's retweets prompted some high-profile figures, including actor Mark Ruffalo, Alicia Garza, African-American activist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter and legal professor Seth Abramson, to ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey what he would do in response.
Twitter didn't comment on the incident specifically, only referring to a review of its verification process, a reference to Fransen.
"We are continuing a comprehensive review of our verification policies, including an initial review of verified accounts," said a spokeswoman. "We will remove verification from accounts whose behavior does not fall within these new guidelines. We will continue to review and take action as we work towards a new program we are proud of."
First published Nov. 29 at 4:48 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:39 p.m. PT: Includes further comment from the White House and reaction from UK officials.