Trump tweets cause a stir in British Parliment What's Your Point? December 3, 2017

- The President drew heavy criticism this week from Britain's Prime Minister after he retweeted anti-Muslim videos widely regarded in the U.K. as hate speech.

The panel shares their thoughts.

This week's panel: Bob Price - Associate Editor Breitbart Texas, Nyanza Moore - progressive commentator and Houston attorney, Tony Diaz- Chicano educator and activist, Marcus Davis - host of "Sunday Morning Live", Bill King - businessman, columnist and former Kemah Mayor, and Jessica Colon - Republican strategist.

 

 

LONDON (AP) - A few days after his inauguration, U.S. President Donald Trump stood beside British Prime Minister Theresa May in the White House and proclaimed the strength of the "most special relationship" between their two countries.

Ten months later, that relationship looks decidedly strained. As May and Trump traded criticism Thursday over his retweets of a far-right group's anti-Muslim videos, British lawmakers labeled the U.S. leader a hate peddler. They also urged May's government to revoke an invitation for Trump to visit Britain as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II.

The furor erupted after Trump, who has almost 44 million Twitter followers, on Wednesday retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of the far-right group Britain First. The tiny group regularly posts inflammatory videos purporting to show Muslims engaged in acts of violence, but without providing context or supporting information.

The U.K. ambassador in Washington, Kim Darroch, complained to the White House, and May's spokesman said the president was wrong to retweet the group's content.

Trump responded with a tweet urging May to focus on "the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom" instead of on him.

May countered Thursday that "we take the need to deal with the terrorist threat very seriously" and rebuked the leader of Britain's closest ally.

"The fact that we work together does not mean that we are afraid to say when we think that the United States have got it wrong and to be very clear with them," May said Thursday during a visit to Amman, Jordan. "I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was one of many politicians urging the government to scrap the still-unscheduled state visit by Trump that first was announced during May's trip to Washington in January.

Khan, the British capital's first Muslim mayor, said the American president had promoted "a vile, extremist group" and an official visit by him "would not be welcomed."

In the House of Commons on Thursday, lawmakers criticized Trump in unusually blunt language. Labour's Naz Shah accused him of promoting "the hate-filled ideology of fascism." Conservative Tim Loughton said Twitter should take down Trump's account for peddling "hate crime."

The chill between London and Washington could not come at a worse time, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union and forge new economic relationships around the world.

May was the first world leader to meet with Trump after he took office in January partly because Britain is eager to strike a free trade deal with the U.S. after it leaves the EU in 2019.

But the prime minister's bid to nurture a close relationship with the unpredictable president has not gone according to plan.

Trump greeted May with warm words, and even briefly held her hand as the two leaders walked along a colonnade at the White House.

Within hours of May's departure, Trump signed an order banning travel to the U.S. from several majority-Muslim countries. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said soon afterward that Trump would not be invited to address Parliament during his state visit, an honor given to President Barack Obama and other world leaders.

Analysts predicted Thursday that the trans-Atlantic relationship would be strong and important enough to survive the current strain

"The core U.K.-U.S. special relationship is cooperation in nuclear weapons, special forces and intelligence," said Tim Oliver, an expert in Europe-North America relations at the London School of Economics. "That core has traditionally been protected from the vagaries of presidential and prime ministerial relations.

"Trump, however, is testing it in ways we've not seen before."

Emily Thornberry, the Labour Party's foreign affairs spokeswoman, said May had made an error of judgment in inviting Trump so soon after he took office.

"We ought to be holding him at arm's length," Thornberry told Sky News. "She's put the queen in this incredibly invidious position."

May insisted Thursday that the visit was still on - though she suggested it was not imminent.

"An invitation for a state visit has been extended and has been accepted," she said. "We have yet to set a date."

 

LONDON (AP) -The furor over President Trump's retweeting of British far-right group (all times local):

Britain's ambassador to the United States says he has complained to the White House about Donald Trump's retweets of a far-right U.K. group.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said Trump was wrong to retweet anti-Muslim videos posted by a leader of extremist group Britain First. The government says the group's views are anathema to most people in Britain.

Britain's envoy in Washington, Kim Darroch, tweeted Thursday that "British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which seek to divide communities & erode decency, tolerance & respect. British Muslims are peaceful and law abiding citizens."

He added that "I raised these concerns with the White House yesterday."

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says President Donald Trump's retweets from a far-right group were "the wrong thing to do."

May says the group, Britain First, is "a hateful organization" that runs counter to "common British decency."

May has been under pressure to condemn Trump directly over the retweets of anti-Muslim videos. Her spokesman has already said the retweets were wrong.

Speaking in Amman, Jordan, May said Britain and the U.S. have a special relationship but she is not afraid to criticize friends when they get things wrong.

Asked about a tweet by Trump urging her to focus on Islamic extremist violence rather than on him, May said Britain takes the danger of extremism very seriously.

___

The mayor of London has added his voice to calls for President Donald Trump's state visit to Britain to be canceled over his retweets of a British far-right group.

Sadiq Khan says Trump has promoted "a vile, extremist group" and an official visit by him to Britain "would not be welcomed."

Trump's retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from far-right group Britain First has been widely condemned in Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said the president was wrong to have done it.

In response, Trump urged May to focus on "the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom," rather than on him.

Downing St. and the White House both say a state visit by Trump is planned, but no date has been set.

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