Sarah Sanders says Trump’s anti-Muslim propaganda retweets ‘elevate the conversation’
Donald Trump woke up on Wednesday morning and retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by a British white nationalist who has been convicted of religious harassment. On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the tweets, for a second time, by saying they “elevate the conversation.”
“Does the president feel that he has an obligation to ensure that the information that he shares on his Twitter feed to millions of people is accurate?” a reporter asked, referencing the fact that a “Muslim migrant” who allegedly “beats up a Dutch boy on crutches” in one of the videos was actually born in the Netherlands.
“I think the president feels that bringing up important issues of our time like extreme violence and terrorism are important to do,” Sanders said.
Umm, okay? I’m pretty sure you can do that without sharing false information.
“Does he know that sharing those videos might incite violence against Muslims?” the reporter followed up. “Does he understand that he’s elevated a fringe political group that many people outside of Britain didn’t even know about?”
“Look, I think what he’s done is elevate the conversation to talk about a real issue and a real threat — that’s extreme violence and extreme terrorism,” Sanders said. “Something that we know to be very real, and something the presidents feels strongly about talking about, and bringing up, and making sure is an issue every single day, that we’re looking at the best ways to protect Americans.”
Sanders characterizes Trump’s retweets of anti-Muslim videos from a far-right group as an attempt to “elevate the conversation to talk about a real issue and threat.” pic.twitter.com/WjfEmdQ0c8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 30, 2017
The fact that POTUS shared a fascist’s Islamophobic propaganda didn’t seem to bother Twitter either.
Asked why the social network didn’t delete the tweets, a spokesperson told CNN: “To help ensure people have an opportunity to see every side of an issue, there may be the rare occasion when we allow controversial content or behavior which may otherwise violate our rules to remain on our service because we believe there is a legitimate public interest in its availability.”
To be clear, the original poster, Jayda Fransen, is the deputy leader of Britain First, a small far-right political group in the U.K. that advocates for a white ethno-state. She has a history of harassing Muslims, and the group inspired the murder of a pro-immigration Parliament member in 2016 by a terrorist who shouted “Britain First” during his attack.
Sure, Fransen represents one “side of an issue,” it’s just that her side supports ethnic cleansing. It’s weird that Twitter still doesn’t understand why there’s not a “legitimate public interest” in facilitating that perspective.