Trump offers apology for far-right video retweets

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US President Donald Trump has offered an apology for retweeting inflammatory videos by the far-right Britain First group.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Trump said he had known nothing about the organisation when he made the social media postings.

He told interviewer Piers Morgan that he believed the videos showed “radical Islamic terror”, but if it was the case that they had been produced by “horrible racist people”, then he “would certainly apologise”.

At the time, the president lashed back at Mrs May in a tweet addressed directly to her: “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!”

And his subsequent decision to pull out of an expected visit to London to open the new US embassy building fuelled speculation of a diplomatic rift.

But Mr Trump dismissed this as a “false rumour” when he met Mrs May at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos on Thursday.

And in his interview with Morgan shortly afterwards, he insisted he had “a very good relationship” with the Prime Minister and would “love” to come to the UK.

Downing Street has confirmed plans for a working visit by the President during the course of 2018, and said that an invitation for a state visit remains open.

Donald Trump
DonaldTrump is to visit the UK after meeting Theresa May in Davos (Evan Vucci/AP)

“Perhaps it was a big story in Britain , perhaps it was a big story in the UK, but in the United States it wasn’t a big story.

“If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that.”

He said he had made the retweets because he was concerned about the threat posed by radical Islamic extremists.

“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,” he said.

On his relations with Mrs May, he told Good Morning Britain: “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.”

Mr Trump’s appearance in the UK is not expected until the second half of 2018 – and is likely to be met by protests.

Asked what he would say to his British critics, he said: “I don’t care. I don’t care. It’s just one of those things, I don’t say anything. You know why? I don’t care.”

Morgan pointed out that world leaders who have been to the UK for state visits have included Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, and said that nonetheless some British figures would like to ban Mr Trump from receiving the honour.

Trump replied: “I hadn’t heard about banning. I think a lot of the people in your country like what I stand for, they respect what I stand for and I do stand for tough borders.”

Downing Street said: “The PM and president concluded by asking officials to work together on finalising the details of a visit by the president to the UK later this year.”

During their 40-minute meeting in Davos, Mrs May also raised the issue of aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, which has a major plant in Northern Ireland and is at the centre of a US trade dispute.

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