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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that it doesn't matter whether the anti-Muslim videos retweeted by President Donald Trump are real or not, because "the threat is real."
Trump shared three videos on Twitter early Wednesday from the deputy leader of an ultranationalist, far-right fringe group in Britain. The group, Britain First, claims to be fighting the "Islamization" of England, and the graphic videos purported to show Muslims committing violent crimes.
The videos were titled, "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!", "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!", and "Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!"
Within minutes of Trump's retweets, numerous news outlets reported that a number of the videos' titles were false or misleading.
Sanders, however, told reporters that by focusing on "the nature of the video, you're focusing on the wrong thing."
"The threat is real, what the president is talking about, the need for national security and military spending, those are very real things, there's nothing fake about that," she said.
Sanders didn't elaborate on exactly what "the threat" was, but Trump has long portrayed Islam as a danger to the United States.
Early in his presidential campaign, Trump proposed banning all Muslims from traveling to the United States. Since assuming the presidency, his administration has been locked in a legal battle over its effort to institute a ban on travelers from various majority Muslim countries.
Sanders said Trump was helping to address the "threat" by "bringing it up."
"The threat is real, the threat needs to be addressed, the threat has to be talked about, and that's what president is doing in bringing it up," she said.
Trump's "goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security," and "whether it's a real video, the threat is real."
"That's what the president is taking about, that's what the president is focused on, dealing with those real threats and those are real no matter how you look at it," she insisted.
Trump's decision to retweet the propaganda videos drew searing condemnation from around the world on Wednesday, including from America's closest ally: The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "It is wrong for the President to have done this."