In my column of 5 December, I criticised President Donald Trump for retweeting posts by the far-right group Britain First without bothering to find out anything about the organisation before he did so.
In it I wrote that “ignorance is no excuse and when Mr Trump rebroadcasted the three offending Islamophobic videos, he was spreading the kind of propaganda that you would expect a man in his position to condemn”.
Recent statements by Trump confirm that he had no idea who the group were at the time of the incident. When being interviewed by Piers Morgan in Davos last week he said: “If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologise if you would like me to do that.”
Nice try but too little, too late. Trump obviously believed the videos’ contents, which have been proven to be a tissue of lies, suited his anti-Islam narrative and to now plead ignorance of Britain First is no excuse. I said it then and I’ll say it now: if the President of the United States feels he can act with impunity by peddling such pernicious material through social media, then we have reached an altogether different level of US politics.
His half-hearted apology will do nothing to help paper over the cracks of his Twitter activities.