Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he was disturbed upon seeing President Trump retweeting three videos Wednesday of what appear to be Muslim men violently attacking non-Muslims and Christian religious items.
"I have no idea what would motivate him to do that. To me it's bizarre and disturbing, and particularly when I think of him doing that in the context of North Korea, where moderation and thought is critical. When you see him do something like this, I find it very disturbing. I have no way of explaining what on Earth motivated it," Clapper told CNN's "New Day" Wednesday morning.
Trump shared videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First HQ, a far-right overseas group.
Fransen was found guilty of religiously harassing a Muslim woman in November 2016. She was also charged with using "threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behavior" during a speech she gave in Northern Ireland and is due to appear in Belfast Magistrates Court over that incident next month.
Clapper worried that Trump's sharing the videos could incite violence against Muslims. "I think it causes our friends and allies to question where is he coming from with this, so it has all kinds of ripple affects, both in inciting or encouraging anti-muslim violence, and it causes our friends and allies around the world to wonder about the judgment of the president of the United States," Clapper added.
According to BuzzFeed, a clip showing a man being pushed off a rooftop and beaten was filmed four years ago in Egypt, and resulted in the perpetrator being hanged. Another video showing a boy on crutches being assaulted. A 16-year-old boy was arrested in the Netherlands for the crime, and since then claims have been made that no one involved in the video was a migrant.
Trump's retweets of Britain First representatives raised concerns even among far-right groups in the U.S. Paul Joseph Watson, editor at large of the conspiracy website Infowars, said the retweets were "not great optics" for Trump.
Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump's Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics. ????— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 29, 2017
During his presidential campaign in 2015 and 2016, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims seeking entry to the U.S. until the connection between the Islamic State and the Muslim religion could be determined. No such ban has taken place, but the administration has implemented executive orders that ban some immigrants from countries with large Muslim populations.
The State Department has cited national security concerns, including foreign governments' inabilities to properly screen immigrants in a way that meets America's standards.