Britain First’s deputy leader has hit back at Donald Trump’s offer to apologise for retweeting her videos, saying he was “railroaded” by TV presenter Piers Morgan.
Jayda Fransen accused Morgan of misrepresenting her views to Donald Trump and said the broadcaster owed her an apology.
The President sparked outrage in Britain when he posted the three clips last November, prompting Prime Minister Theresa May to say he was “wrong” to have done so.
In an interview with ITV’s Morgan, Mr Trump said he knew “nothing” about Britain First before sharing three of its videos in November.
Explaining why he had retweeted them, he told interviewer Piers Morgan: “They had a couple of depictions of radical Islamic terror. It was done because I am a big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror. This was a depiction of radical Islamic terror.”
Despite Mr Trump’s explanation, at least one of the videos shared by the US President has since been proved to be fake.
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In the interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the US President said he had known nothing about the organisation when he made the retweets and is prepared to apologise.
“I knew nothing about them and I know nothing about them today other than I read a little bit,” he said.
Mr Trump asserted that while it was a “big story” in Britain, it wasn’t in the United States.
He said: “If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that.”
But Fransen said Morgan had: “completely misled the president of the United States by claiming that I am something I am not”, adding: “I have challenged Piers Morgan to sit down with me and to discuss these absolutely horrific accusations that I am a horrible nasty racist – something I wholeheartedly refute.”
She said: “Let’s have a civilised discussion, let’s not mislead people and let’s not proclaim to represent the entire UK by saying that I am a horrible racist, I should be condemned.”
But Mr Morgan, who told his Good Morning Britain colleagues that he had told the president that Britain First “are racist, fascist people”, hit back on Twitter, saying: “Here’s my apology to her: ‘Sorry I wasn’t more offensive about you.'”
Here’s my apology to her: ‘Sorry I wasn’t more offensive about you.’ https://t.co/gRS3LqxQqn
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 26, 2018
On Friday Fransen appeared in court in Belfast on a hate speech charge.
She said it was “not true” that she is a “horrible nasty racist”, adding: “…frankly accusing someone of being a horrible nasty racist with absolutely no evidence to back that up is irresponsible, immoral and I am the one that is owed an apology by Piers Morgan.
“I sincerely hope I receive it.”
The retweets appeared to spark between Theresa May and Mr Trump, who hit back at the British PM, tweeting: “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!”
.@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
The aftermath also saw the president pull out of an expected visit to Britain to open the new US embassy building in London.
It was widely thought the decision was due to the likelihood of protests against Mr Trump’s visit, but he insisted it was about because he thought the relocation of the building was a “bad deal”.
The US President tweeted: “Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO.”
Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
It has now emerged that Mr Trump will visit the UK later this year.
In his interview with Good Morning Britain, any tension with Mrs May seemed to have been left behind.
He said: “We actually have a very good relationship, although a lot of people think we don’t. I support her, I support a lot of what she does and a lot of what she says.”
Asked about the relationship between Mrs May and Mr Trump and any apparent arguments, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci but The President’s harsh words down to him being a ‘New Yorker’.
Scaramucci said Trump would ‘stick and jab once in a while’, but that wasn’t an indication of a long-term issue.