Trump apologizes for re-tweeting anti-Muslim videos by far-right British group
KONFRONTASI - US President Donald Trump has apologized for the first time for re-tweeting anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right group in November, which had sparked widespread outrage in the UK.
"If you're telling me they're horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize if you'd like me to do that," he told Good Morning Britain's Piers Morgan on Thursday during an interview on conducted in Davos, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum.
The US president provoked a wave of anger in Britain in November when he re-tweeted, in quick succession, three anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First, who was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment of a Muslim woman in 2016.
Morgan accused Trump of causing "huge anxiety and anger in my country, because Britain First is basically a bunch of racists, fascists."
"Of course I didnt know that," Trump responded in excerpts of the interview aired Friday. "I know nothing about them (Britain First), I know nothing about them today, other than I read a little bit," he added.
"Certainly I wasn't endorsing anybody. Perhaps it was a big story in the UK, but in the United States it wasn't a big story. I am the least racist person that anybody is going to meet.”
Trump was less apologetic about tweeting the content of the unverified videos, saying he was a "big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror," repeating his relentless attacks on Islam and demonization of Muslims.
The incident caused a huge headache for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said that Trump was "wrong" to send out the tweets, further souring the "special relationship" between Britain and the US following a series of spats.
Trump has been described in the US as a dangerous demagogue who is using Islamophobia as a political tactic to appeal to the prejudices prevalent among Republican voters and far-right groups.
During the 2016 presidential race, Trump campaigned for "a total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States on the pretext of preventing terrorist attacks.[ptv]