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.”