UK Prime Minister Theresa May got a lecture from US President Donald Trump on “Radical Islamic Terrorism” after admonishing Trump for retweeting a far-right activist’s anti-Muslim videos. Anglo-American relations have never seen anything quite like this.
UK Prime Minister May condemned Trump through her spokesperson James Slack on Wednesday afternoon, after Trump three times retweeted videos depicting Muslims in various parts of the world committing violent and destructive acts. The tweets were originally posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, an anti-Islam, neo-Nazi group.
“It’s wrong for the president to have done this,” James Slack said of Trump’s Wednesday morning retweets.
Trump, a self-proclaimed counter-puncher, slapped back at May in a tweet reprimanding her for criticizing him.
“Don’t focus on me,” Trump tweeted, initially tagging the wrong account for the UK prime minister.
“Focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” he added.
Trump then went on to tweet that the US is “doing just fine,” but never clarified his reason for retweeting the Britain First leader.
Slack, May’s spokesman, also said Wednesday that Britain First “seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives that stoke tensions” and “is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency, tolerance and respect.”
Fransen was convicted last year of religiously aggravated harassment for accosting a hijab-clad Muslim mother in front of her children during a “Christian patrol” organized by Britain First. Earlier this month, she was arrested and charged with “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” for a speech she gave in August at a rally near Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland. She is set to appear in court on December 14.
May was the first foreign elected official to visit the White House after Trump became president. The US and UK relationship has long been deemed “special” by presidents of both mainstream US parties, including Trump himself.