69ºF

Local Muslim group not buying White House's explanation on Trump's anti-Muslim retweets

White House: President Trump didn't know poster of anti-Muslim videos

LONDON (AP) – The White House claims President Donald Trump was trying to elevate the conversation when he retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group, but one local Muslim group says it’s not buying that explanation.

A White House spokeswoman says she does not believe U.S. President Donald Trump knew anything about a British far-right leader before he retweeted inflammatory anti-Muslim videos from her account.

Trump retweeted three videos Wednesday from the account of Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First. The videos purported to show violence being committed by Muslims.

Asked Thursday if the president knew who Fransen was when he shared the videos with his followers, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "No, I don't believe so."

Sarwat Husain, a Muslim-American with the Council on American-Islamic Relations San Antonio Chapter, fears the president's retweets could put Muslim-Americans in danger.

"You've already created an atmosphere of hate, fear and suspicion against a whole community of 8 million people in the United States," Husain said.

Sanders told reporters at a press briefing: "I think he knew what the issues are, and that is that we have a real threat of extreme violence and terrorism, not just in this country, but across the globe."

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that retweeting Britain First's content was a "wrong thing to do."

Trump's retweets and the White House's stance prompted Husain to ask all Americans to stand together.

"Speak up. Stand up. Any community that is marginalized, be with them," Husain said.