McMaster defends Trump's promotion of anti-Muslim videos posted by British far-right group

Laura King, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, on Sunday defended his boss' retweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British group.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," McMaster said Trump's intention was "to highlight the importance of creating safe and secure environments for our citizens."

British Prime Minister Theresa May issued an unusual direct rebuke of Trump's action last week, saying it was "wrong" for him to retweet content promoted by an extremist group, Britain First, whose aim is to stoke hatred and mistrust. British parliamentarians across the political spectrum were also highly critical of the president's decision to use his Twitter account, with nearly 44 million followers, to give a boost to the group.

Pressed by interviewer Chris Wallace as to how the sharing of videos accompanied by incendiary anti-Muslim captions helped promote national security, McMaster replied that it was important to combat the "false narrative" that the fight against groups such as Islamic State is a "war of religion."

Britain First's characterizations of the videos, which purported to show Muslims committing acts of violence, were widely criticized as incomplete or outright false. The Dutch Embassy in the U.S. said the group falsely claimed that an assailant shown beating another person in one of the video clips was a "Muslim migrant." The perpetrator, who was punished, was born and raised in the Netherlands, the embassy said.


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