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Trump’s Twitter fail caps strange day
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25.04.2018

Trump’s Twitter fail caps strange day

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WARNING: Graphic
DONALD Trump lashed out at a random woman he thought was UK Prime Minister on an astounding day of tweeting — even by the US President’s standards.
“Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” he wrote to a woman called Theresa Scrivener with six followers on Twitter. “We are doing just fine.”
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The POTUS quickly deleted the tweet and redirected it to the real UK Prime Minister — but the internet had a field day with the misfire.
Mr Trump has also been accused of violating the Presidential Records Act -which requires the POTUS to keep all records of social media communication - by deleting the Tweet.
It all comes after a huge backlash against three retweets the president made earlier in the day from an extreme right-wing UK group called Britain First.
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The group films themselves harassing Muslims on the streets and march through multicultural towns with Christian crosses looking to stir up violence — but who are Britain First and why is Donald Trump retweeting them?
The US President has been accused of “spreading hate” after he shared three unverified anti-Muslim videos from the fringe far-right UK group overnight with his 43.6 million followers.
It is a huge profile boost for the group, which reacted with joy when the three videos were recirculated.
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What is Britain First and why is the US President giving the group airtime?
“In the Australian context, Pauline Hanson would probably find Britain First dangerous, difficult and not wish to be associated with it,” Matthew Collins, a former neo-Nazi who now works with anti-fascist campaign group Hope Not Hate, told ABC.
“If the Australian Prime Minister did this (retweeted the group’s videos), we would be really concerned.
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“Britain First is a very small, fringe and insignificant group, although it has proved a skilful manipulator of social media, it has hardly ever got more than one per cent of the vote in any election at any level.”
It certainly hasn’t been a success story for the group at the ballot box, which started as a splinter group in 2011 by an anti-abortion campaigner.
Party leader Jayda Fransen, whose tweets Donald Trump recirculated, stood to be an MP in 2014 but received only 56 votes, losing her deposit.
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Fellow leader Paul Golding stood to be mayor of London, but gathered only 1.2 per cent of the vote compared with 44 per cent for the winner, Muslim candidate, Sadiq Khan.
Its openly anti-Islam, anti-immigration agenda has only attracted an estimated 1000 supporters and the group suffered further embarrassment earlier this month when the UK’s Electoral Commission deregistered them for not paying a routine fee of £25 ($44).
What do Britain First stand for?
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The group’s mission statement states it is a “pro-British” party with a “no-nonsense” approach.
It has amassed almost two million “likes” on Facebook, but their social media posts including praising a terrorist mosque attack in Finsbury Park, London, have attracted widespread criticism.
The group regularly protests against the construction or extension of mosques and wants halal meat banned in Britain, however its website states the group is “not racist”.
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“Britain First is a patriotic political party and street movement that opposes and fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people,” it boasts in its statement.
“We want our people to come first, before foreigners, asylum seekers or migrants and we are overtly proud of this stance.
“We want British jobs for British workers and will make sure that our workers come first.
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“We will restore Christianity as the bedrock and foundation of our national life as it has been for the last one thousand years.
“We will make Britain a beautiful country once again where you can leave your door unlocked and your children can play in the streets.”
However, in the group’s fight for justice, its methods have also landed its leaders in court.
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Fransen and Golding were charged with causing religiously aggravated harassment in September.
In the spotlight
Britain First has shot into the international spotlight after Mr Trump shared three anti-Muslim videos posted by the group.
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However, the at least one of the videos Mr Trump retweeted, which has the caption “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches”, has been proven fake.
Dutch blog GeenStijl reports that “the perpetrator was not a Muslim, let alone a migrant, but simply a Dutchman”. A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution confirmed the suspect was “born and raised in the Netherlands”.
In the video, one teen in a park places his arm around the other before punching him and kicking him on the ground. As a result of the video, first published in May, two local teens were arrested.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the President, saying it didn’t matter if the videos were real or not.
“I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that’s what the President is talking about, is the need for national security, the need for military spending and those are very real things; there’s nothing fake about that,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
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Backlash
The President’s actions have sparked outrage on both sides of the Atlantic.
Prime Minister Theresa May said it was “wrong for the President to have done this”.
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“Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions,” the Downing St spokesman told the Evening Standard.
“They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents — decency, tolerance and respect.”
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