The husband of a British lawmaker, who was killed by a political demagogue, is criticizing President Donald Trump for his recent retweets from a far-right nationalist organization in the United Kingdom.
Trump has “become a purveyor of hate,” according to Brendan Cox, the husband of former U.K. member of Parliament Jo Cox, who was killed just before the Brexit vote last year.
The three tweets that Trump shared with his millions of followers contained videos allegedly depicting Muslims engaging in attacks against white people or symbols of Christianity. They came from the account of Jayda Fransen, an extremely far-right nationalist and leader of the Britain First group in the U.K.
Many across the world condemned Trump’s retweets, including Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the action “the wrong thing to do.”
Trump responded to May in another tweet he sent on Wednesday.
.@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
Brendan Cox took the president to task in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, expressing his disappointment and frustration with Trump for promulgating Britain First.
The fact that Trump was promoting Fransen’s tweets at all, Cox explained, was unimaginable.
“This is like the president retweeting the Ku Klux Klan,” Cox said.
“For the president of the United States, our greatest ally as a country, to be retweeting, to be providing a microphone to those voices, I think everybody, no matter what your political persuasion in the U.K., I think has been shocked by that,” he added.
Jo Cox was killed by a man named Thomas Mair, who espoused far-right nationalist ideals. Cox was repeatedly shot and stabbed by Mair when he attacked her on June 16, 2016.
Mair was heard muttering “Britain first” during the attack, The Guardian reports.
Brendan Cox reiterated just how low it was for the president to retweet Britain First’s tweets.
“This organization is one that has very strong connections to violence. ... For a president to be legitimizing these voices, it has real impact,” he said. “... [It has] changed the public discourse in our country for the worse.”
Many things Trump has done since becoming president are indefensible. His retweets earlier this week are among the most disgusting of his actions. They serve no grander purpose except to stoke fear and hate among individuals who already hold bigoted views against the Muslim community.
People who retweet these gross images are perpetuating a false belief about Muslims that must be repudiated. They are bigots, and, yes, Trump is among them. His prejudices against people who follow Islam were evident before, but with his retweets this week, his bigoted views are now blatantly there for everyone to see.
Banner / Thumbnail : Toby Melville/Reuters