The White House responded to reports that anti-Muslim videos retweeted by President Trump on Wednesday are fake by … shrugging. "Whether it's … a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press.
The videos were initially shared by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain's far-right, anti-immigrant Britain First group.
The videos purport to show Muslims killing a boy, beating up a Dutch youth on crutches, and destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary. There are questions about the legitimacy of the footage, though, with ThinkProgress writing:
…[T]he "Muslim migrant" assailant shown beating the Dutch boy in the first video is in fact neither a migrant or a Muslim. Meanwhile, the video showing a Muslim destroying the Virgin Mary statute is three years old and reportedly features an anti-Assad cleric that's part of a group that has been supported by the United States. And the third video of the boy being beaten to death was reportedly filmed in Egypt in 2013. [ThinkProgress]
Sanders' comments show a "chilling indifference to whether the president's statements are factual or not," tweeted author Max Boot. "Implicitly: If the president says it, it's not a lie."