LONDON (CBSMiami/CNN) – President Trump’s Twitter habit is putting some strain on the US relationship with its closest ally. Britain’s Prime Minister is calling the President’s retweet of anti-Muslim videos the wrong thing to do and London’s mayor, who is Muslim, is calling for the President’s state visit to be canceled.
In Jordan on a three-day Mideast tour, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “I’m very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.”
Her comments come after her office said the same thing on Wednesday.
To which, President Trump tweeted to Theresa May: 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!”
.@Theresa_May, 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
May acknowledged Britain has to contend with threats not only from Muslim extremists, but from the far right. And she says she’s not afraid to tell her friends when they are wrong.
“This is a long term, special relationship that we have, enduring relationship that is there because it’s in both our national interests,” said May.
As for the mayor of London’s request to cancel President Trump’s state visit, Prime Minister May says the invite stands.
Meanwhile, a British lawmaker addressed the House of Commons Thursday to call Trump’s retweets from a far-right leader in the UK proof that the President is “a racist, incompetent, or unthinking, or all three,” and he wasn’t done there.
After railing in Parliament against Trump’s retweets of Jayda Fransen — who is the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right and ultra-nationalist political group — Labour MP Stephen Doughty joined CNN’s “New Day.”
He told anchor Chris Cuomo that Britain First is the British equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. He also discussed calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to rescind the invitation for Trump’s impending state visit.
“This is not a normal Donald Trump Twitter storm,” he said. “This is a far-right, fascist organization with a convicted criminal who is currently facing further charges in the UK for inciting religious hatred.”
Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment in November 2016 after abusing a Muslim woman wearing a hijab while the woman was with her four children. She also faces four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent Police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during the rape trial of four men of Afghan origin in May. Doughty said he finds it “extraordinary” that Trump would retweet her.
The veracity of the videos — which purport to show Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary — has been called into question. The Dutch attorney general’s office noted that the suspect in one of the clips was born and raised in the Netherlands and is not a “migrant,” as he is identified in Fransen’s tweet. When asked about the videos, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded, “Whether it is a real video, the threat is real.”
Doughty said, “I think the President needs to worry about what’s happening in the United States more than he’s worrying about far-right organizations in the UK and sharing the content.”
The lawmaker said Britain First is “a very extreme organization, equivalent, I would say, to the likes of the KKK in the United States.”
As for Trump’s forthcoming state visit, Doughty said, “I certainly don’t support the President coming here for a state visit … It’s very clear that British lawmakers — from all parties, all parts of the house, members of the Cabinet — are deeply unhappy at what the President has done. We would not welcome him here for a state visit.”
Doughty noted his own grandfather was an American G.I. who went to Britain in World War II to fight fascism. “President Trump simply doesn’t represent the kind, generous, caring Americans that I know,” he said.
(©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)