White House defends Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets

US Prez’s move drew criticism from The Downing Street which said the US president was “wrong” to retweet the controversial videos.

Washington : The White House on Thursday came out in defence of US President Donald Trump who retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a far-right British account, arguing that he has been talking about national security issues for long. 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).

“The President has been talking about these security issues for years now, from the campaign trail to the White House. He talked about them on 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 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. “Look, we are now looking at the possibility of a difficulty in passing government funding legislation because of disagreements on immigration policy. The Democrats’ priority is amnesty. Our priority is safety and security,” he said, reports PTI.

Trump’s move drew criticism from The Downing Street which said the US president was “wrong” to retweet the controversial videos.

Responding to a question on the British Prime Minister’s office condemning Trump’s retweets, Shah said, “The president has greatest respect for both the people of Britain and Prime Minister Theresa May.” “We are going to be focusing on … safety and security for the American people. We’re talking about extreme vetting policies, ensuring that individuals who come to the United States do not pose either a public safety or a terrorism threat, and the other measures that we want to take,” Shah said.

To butteress his contention, Shah reiterated the need to end the visa lottery system, that allows individuals to come to the US, and replace it with a merit-based system. He noted that the terrorist who killed eight individuals in New York City last month came to the US through the visa lottery system.

May tours Mideast amid row

Riyadh : British Prime Minister Theresa May met Saudi leaders before leaving for Jordan on Thursday  on a Middle East tour overshadowed by a high-profile row with US President Donald Trump over Islam. May focus on defending Britain rather than criticising him. May’s meetings in Saudi Arabia were all behind closed doors and there was no immediate comment from her to the latest outburst from Trump. She met both King Salman and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reports AFP. May had promised to raise concerns over a worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen where a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has only partially lifted a crippling aid blockade. UN officials have warned of the risks of the “world’s worst famine in many decades”.

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