The tweets drew a sharp condemnation from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office, which said it was “wrong for the president to have done this.”
Brushing off the criticism in an evening tweet, Trump said May instead of focusing on him should “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.”
Trump had turned away from taxes, North Korea and other issues facing his administration to share the three videos tweeted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the British group. It was not clear what drew him to the videos, though one had been shared by conservative commentator Ann Coulter the day before.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was simply promoting border security and suggested that verifying the content was not a top concern.
“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about,” she said.
The tweets read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
His promotion of the videos came two days after he mocked Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” during an Oval Office event with Native American veterans, drawing criticism from of Native American war veterans and politicians of both major parties.
Trump’s retweets have given a wide platform to the previously obscure group. The videos were each shared more than 10,000 times, and Fransen picked up nearly 10,000 Twitter followers in the hours following Trump’s retweets. She thanked him on Twitter, saying “GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP!”
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke also welcomed the videos, tweeting that Trump was being “condemned for showing us what the fake news media WON’T. Thank God for Trump! That’s why we love him!”
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