Trump bluntly explains anti-Islam retweets: ‘I am a big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror’

President Donald Trump admitted he was not “endorsing” anyone with his retweet of anti-Muslim videos back in November, but he was more than clear about his reason for doing so.

“Radical Islamic terror, whether you like talking about it or not, you look at what’s going on in the U.K., you look at what’s going on all over the world,” he told Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan. “It was done because I am a big believer in fighting radical Islamic terror.”

 

Morgan told the president he caused “huge anxiety and anger in my country, because Britain First is basically a bunch of racists, fascists.”

Trump caused an outcry in Britain when, in November, he retweeted videos from a British far-right group supposedly showing Islamist violence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the president saying Trump was “wrong” to send out the tweets.

“Of course I didn’t know that,” he told Morgan in the ITV interview conducted in Davos on Thursday, where the president is attending the World Economic Forum. “I know nothing about them (Britain First), I know nothing about them today, other than I read a little bit.”

Trump downplayed the incident, noting that it was probably more of a story in the UK.

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“Certainly I wasn’t endorsing anybody. Perhaps it was a big story in the U.K., but in the United States it wasn’t a big story. I am the least racist person that anybody is going to meet,” he said. “When you do those retweets they can cause problems because you never know who’s doing it to start off with.”

He told Morgan he did not want to “cause any difficulty for your country,” prompting the TV host to ask the president if he would apologize for the retweets, saying “I think it would go a long way.”

“Then here’s what’s fair,” Trump responded. “If you’re telling me these are horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize if you’d like me to do that.”

Morgan, a longtime friend of Trump’s, was showered with praise and rebukes on social media following the interview scoop.

But he was clearly happy to see the president.

Trump cancelled a ceremony to open the new U.S. Embassy in London last year amid reports that his visit would spark protests. London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for Prime Minister May to withdraw her offer for Trump to make a state visit.

“I don’t care” about potential protesters, Trump told Morgan in the morning show interview.  “I think a lot of the people in your country like what I stand for, I do stand for tough borders.”

Trump and May met at the Forum on Thursday as the president dismissed reports that there was a strain on their relationship.

“I support her, I support a lot of what she does and I support you militarily very much,” he told Morgan. “We will come to your defense should anything happen, which hopefully will never happen. But I am a tremendous supporter of the UK.”

The full interview will air in Britain on Sunday.

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