Well, I think it’s safe to say that Trump’s advisers (including and probably especially John Kelly) have begrudgingly come to the conclusion that trying to keep the President from embarrassing himself and the entire country on Twitter is an exercise in futility.
On Tuesday evening, Trump retweeted a series of unsubstantiated anti-Muslim videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First who is facing charges of inciting religiously aggravated harassment. Here are those retweets:
Literally no one thought that was a good idea. Not even Breitbart:
Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump's Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics. 🤔
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 29, 2017
On Wednesday, following a series of equally egregious but unrelated tweets about the media, Theresa May herself chastised Trump for his implicit support of Fransen:
NEW: Downing Street on Pres. Trump's retweets of anti-Muslim videos tweeted by figure from extremist British group: "It is wrong for the President to have done this." https://t.co/Bdz3O40csK pic.twitter.com/Ttsiikh34Z
— ABC News (@ABC) November 29, 2017
Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the absurdity up a notch, claiming that it didn’t matter whether the videos were fake or not, because the threat is real. Obviously, that’s so ridiculous that it eludes attempts to criticize it.
Well, unable to let it go, Trump lashed out at May on Wednesday evening. Or at least he thought he did. But Trump being Trump, he accidentally tweeted to the wrong Theresa May:
Turns out, @theresamay is this person, who has 6 followers:
It’s probably a safe bet that Theresa Scrivener was surprised when a message from Trump about him “doing just fine” landed in her notifications.
Trump would go on to correct his mistake about 20 minutes later:
.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Now, calls are growing for the UK to cancel Trump’s state visit. Unsurprisingly, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is leading the charge. “It’s become increasingly clear that any official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed” Khan said, adding that “President Trump yesterday used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country.”
On Thursday, in the UK Parliament, lawmakers lashed out at Trump, calling him everything from “racist” to “fascist” to downright “evil.” Labour MP Paul Flynn went so far as to suggest that Trump should be charged with inciting racial hatred if he enters the country.
Point of Order raised in British House of Commons regarding President Trump's tweets. pic.twitter.com/w4ZIDMMZGo
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 29, 2017
And it wasn’t just Flynn.
Labour MP Chris Bryant,also called for Trump’s arrest if he enters the UK, saying this:
Firstly, the Foreign Secretary should summon the American ambassador and give him a dressing down. The American president is meddling in British politics in a very dangerous way.
Secondly, the prime minister should make it clear that if Donald Trump comes to this country he will be arrested for incited religious hatred – and therefore he would be better off not coming at all.
Chris Bryant wants Donald Trump arrested. pic.twitter.com/R53RnuNrSj
— Ben (@Jamin2g) November 29, 2017
Ultimately, the UK is going to try and ride out this storm.
In a true testament to how the world now views the United States, Justine Greening, a British cabinet minister, told reporters the following:
In the end, our relationship with the United States has a longevity to it that will succeed long after presidents come and go.
Well, other than these tweets…
You have a mass shooting every single day in your country, your murder rate is many times that of the UK, your healthcare system is a disgrace, you can’t pass anything through a congress that you control. I would focus on that. https://t.co/SNcqOZGvLQ
— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) November 30, 2017
Enough is enough. Trump was offered a state visit with unseemly haste. After the events of the past 24 hours the idea it can go ahead is preposterous. The Prime Minister must cancel it. Simple as that.
— Matthew Pennycook MP (@mtpennycook) November 30, 2017