One seems to show a boy being pushed off a roof somewhere in the Middle East. Another depicts a man shattering a gaudy sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The third shows a teenager beating up another teenage who’s holding a crutch. The tweets all highlight or claim that the culprits are “Muslim.”
In the middle of a morning Twitter spree that bragged about his economic performance, and attacked CNN and NBC, president Donald Trump retweeted three disturbing, unverified videos today.
The source of these tweets? Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First party, known mainly for its “invasions” of mosques across the UK and “Christian patrols” that stoke tensions in areas with large Muslim populations.
Last year, Fransen was found guilty of religious aggravated harassment on just such a patrol. She admitted shouting at a local resident that Muslim women cover up to stop themselves being raped “because Muslim men cannot control their sexual urges”, adding “that’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent.” Defending herself in court, Fransen said: “The reason I said them was because from everything I have studied, I understand them to be true.” She later decried her nearly £2,000 fine as “Islamic appeasement.”
When asked in 2015 whether he endorses his retweets, Trump said: “Well I do retweets, and I mean, to a certain extent, I do, yeah. I think that’s right. Do you want me to say no? You know, I retweet, I retweet for a reason.”