In November Jayda Fransen was boasting on Twitter about what she perceived as a personal endorsement by President Donald Trump. He had shared three retweets of controversial anti-Muslim videos from her account with his 44 million followers. Less than two months later Jayda’s Twitter account has been permanently suspended for using hate-inciting imagery and just last night Donald Trump himself has denied supporting her in a high-profile interview with Piers Morgan.
Dumped by Trump
Speaking of Britain First, the nationalist, racist group Jayda Fransen serves as deputy leader of, Trump said, “I know nothing about them, I don’t want to be involved with people [like that].”
Trump not only disavowed any perceived support for Jayda Fransen and Britain First, he even offered to apologize for the retweets. He told Morgan, “If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that.”
The retweets had caused a storm of controversy in the UK. British Prime Minister Theresa May called for the retweets to be deleted and said, “I’m very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do… It is wrong for the president to have done this.”
Trump told Morgan that the retweets had not resulted in much controversy in the United States, although a quick search on the internet would reveal plenty of American coverage of the story when it first broke.
The retweets themselves disappeared when Twitter permanently suspended Jayda Fransen’s account, eliminating the need for President Trump to take any action online.
The frantic Jayda Fransen
In the immediate aftermath of the retweets, Fransen claimed them as a personal endorsement by the US President. She tweeted: “The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has retweeted three of Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen’s Twitter videos! Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44 million followers! God bless you Trump! God bless America!”
Now, following last night’s interview, Jayda Fransen has focused on the framing of the question by Piers Morgan, demanding an apology herself. Referring to Morgan’s interviewing sytle in a statement she said:
“Mr. Trump responded by providing only a qualified apology on the basis of ‘IF you are telling me these are racist horrible people.’
‘It was Mr. Morgan, presuming to speak for the entirety of the United Kingdom that made the pronouncement that we were ‘racist horrible people.’
“That is an appalling, sweeping and entirely derogatory statement, for that Mr Morgan that should apologise.”
In a tweet Morgan responded with a sort of apology, saying, “Here’s my apology to her: ‘Sorry I wasn’t more offensive about you.'”
It has been a tough month for Fransen, who is embroiled in numerous legal battles. She was summoned to appear in a Belfast court on 9 January following her arrest for anti-Islamic comments posted online in a video filmed on 13 December at a peace wall separating Catholic and Protestant communities in West Belfast. She was released on bail.