British lawmaker: Group Trump retweeted is equivalent to KKK
Posted November 30, 2017 8:51 a.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2017 10:36 a.m. EST
(CNN) — A British lawmaker addressed the House of Commons on Thursday morning to call President Donald Trump's three retweets of anti-Muslim videos from a far-right leader in the UK proof that the President is "a racist, incompetent, or unthinking, or all three," and he wasn't done there.
After railing in Parliament against Trump's retweets of Jayda Fransen -- who is the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right and ultra-nationalist political group -- Labour MP Stephen Doughty joined CNN's "New Day."
He told anchor Chris Cuomo that Britain First is the British equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. He also discussed calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to rescind the invitation for Trump's impending state visit.
"This is not a normal Donald Trump Twitter storm," he said. "This is a far-right, fascist organization with a convicted criminal who is currently facing further charges in the UK for inciting religious hatred."
Fransen was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment in November 2016 after abusing a Muslim woman wearing a hijab while the woman was with her four children. She also faces four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent Police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during the rape trial of four men of Afghan origin in May. Doughty said he finds it "extraordinary" that Trump would retweet her.
Veracity of videos questioned
The veracity of the videos -- which purport to show Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary -- has been called into question. The Dutch attorney general's office noted that the suspect in one of the clips was born and raised in the Netherlands and is not a "migrant," as he is identified in Fransen's tweet. When asked about the videos, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded, "Whether it is a real video, the threat is real."
Doughty said, "I think the President needs to worry about what's happening in the United States more than he's worrying about far-right organizations in the UK and sharing the content."
The lawmaker said Britain First is "a very extreme organization, equivalent, I would say, to the likes of the KKK in the United States."
As for Trump's forthcoming state visit, Doughty said, "I certainly don't support the President coming here for a state visit ... It's very clear that British lawmakers -- from all parties, all parts of the house, members of the Cabinet -- are deeply unhappy at what the President has done. We would not welcome him here for a state visit."
Doughty noted his own grandfather was an American G.I. who went to Britain in World War II to fight fascism. "President Trump simply doesn't represent the kind, generous, caring Americans that I know," he said.