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House Democrats press Tillerson on Trump's Muslim retweets

WASHINGTON – A group of Democrats demand that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tell them if the frequent use of President Donald Trump's social networks is endangering US diplomats and Americans who travel abroad.

In a letter sent to Tillerson on Wednesday, the 20 members of the Foreign Affairs Committee said they are extremely concerned about Trump's retweets last week of incendiary videos from a British political group that purported to show the violence committed by Muslims . 19659005] They said the retweets represent the president's official statements and present "a grave danger" to Americans by promoting Islamophobia, stoking hatred for the United States and fueling the recruitment of "those who mean harm to our country and citizens."

I want to know if the State Department contacted the White House to express its concern because the retweets of the Trump videos could trigger protests in the US embassies. Lawmakers have called for a briefing "on the effect of the president's use of social media that has the potential to negatively affect the safety of Americans around the world," according to the letter.

Separately, Democrats also plan to present a resolution that would condemn and censor Trump for retweeting the three videos of Jayda Fransen, vice president of Britain First, a British right-wing group whose profile was elevated by Trump's attention.

The move provoked outrage in Britain and prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to criticize Trump. She said her retweets were "the wrong thing to do" and called Britain First "an odious organization" that goes against "common British decency."

The resolution of censorship seeks to condemn Trump "for his reckless behavior on Twitter that can" The measure also says that Trump and his administration should stop encouraging racist and intolerant ideology and policies. "However, the resolution has There is little chance of being approved by the Republican-led Chamber. [19659005] One of the videos that Trump picked up falsely claims to be a Muslim immigrant beating a Dutch child on crutches, but the attacker was a Dutch citizen, not an immigrant.

The Embassy of the Netherlands responded to the broadcast of Trump's video with a tweet addressed to him: "The facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law. "

Trump's spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, suggested that the accuracy of the videos was not a high priority amid concerns for national security and strong borders." Whether it's a real video, the threat is real and that's what the president is talking about, "he said.


Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rplardner

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