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Donald Trump attacks Theresa May for criticism of anti-Muslim retweets, says British PM should focus on terror within UK

Washington: US president Donald Trump lunged headlong into a row with British prime minister Theresa May late on Wednesday, publicly rebutting her criticism of anti-Muslim propaganda.

"Theresa @theresamay, don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!" Trump tweeted, hours after using the social media platform to retweet Islamophobic videos from a British far right leader.

The White House on Thursday came out in defence of Donald Trump, arguing that he has been talking about national security issues for long.

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

Trump on Wednesday took the social media by storm when he retweeted inflammatory anti-Muslim videos by Britain First, a group founded in 2011 by former members of the far-right British National Party (BNP).

May said through a spokesperson that Trump was "wrong" to promote the "hateful narratives" of the group, British First.

Trump's interventions in British politics have strained the so-called "special relationship."

He has infuriated British authorities with his tweets on terrorism in Britain, including highly publicized run-ins with London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan.

Khan on Wednesday described Britain First as "a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified."

Before Trump's latest missive, the White House had scrambled to limit the fallout, saying that even if the anti-Muslim videos were misleading, the president was pointing out a real problem.

"The threat is real, and that's what the president is talking about," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

"The President has been talking about these security issues for years now, from the campaign trail to the White House. He talked about them yesterday (Wednesday) at the pool spray. He's going to continue to talk about them on Twitter, he's going to talk about them in speeches, he's going to talk about them in policy…," White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Shah was accompanying Trump en route to St Louis, Missouri, where the US president was scheduled to deliver a major speech on middle-class tax relief and business tax relief.

Shah underscored that safety and security were priorities of the Trump administration.

With inputs from PTI and AFP


Updated Date: Nov 30, 2017 07:46 AM

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