Another day, another Twitter spat - it’s all part of the job, apparently, when you’re the President of the United States.
Yesterday saw another whirlwind day of controversy, sparked when Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Islamic videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right, ultra-nationalist group Britain First.
It quickly became clear that Trump had not been hacked, and had fully intended to share the videos, one of which has been debunked as nothing to do with Islam, or any Muslims, and none of which are anything to do with the UK.
The last 24 hours are a textbook example of how extremist views go mainstream.— Shane Richmond (@shanerichmond) November 30, 2017
1. President retweets the far right
2. Mainstream media scrambles to explain
3. The far right and their friends get interviewed
4. The far right has now joined the mainstream conversation.
As politicians and celebrities including David Lammy, Jeremy Corbyn and Piers Morgan rushed to condemn the President’s actions, Theresa May was silent until late Wednesday afternoon, when she issued a tame rebuke to Trump, merely saying, through a spokesman, that “It is wrong for the President to have done this.”
However, despite belief that she had not gone nearly far enough in condemning his actions, it was still enough to rile the thin-skinned Trump, who seems incapable of not reacting to any perceived slight or criticism, and he duly fired off a comeback in the early hours of Thursday.
Of course, this being Trump, he managed to tag the wrong account first time around.
Then - applause! - he got it right the second time.
Trump probably sat back in his padded chair, comfortable in the knowledge that there was no way anyone would be able to issue a comeback to his cutting takedown.
But he reckoned without Brendan Cox, husband of the Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a man who shouted “Britain first” as he attacked her in June 2016. Clearly, for him, Trump’s retweets would have hit home harder and more personally than for many others.
Witness this perfectly argued, and perfectly calm response:
Well played Brendan.