GOP lawmaker criticizes Trump tweets: Terror fight can’t be ‘Christian vs. Islam’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Wednesday criticized President Trump for sharing unverified videos purporting to show violence committed by Muslims, saying it doesn’t help in the war on terrorism.

“I don’t think there’s a single person right now in the United States that has any doubt that there’s a version of Islam, an extremist version of Islam, that wants to come kill us. We know that, we’ve seen terrorist attacks since 9/11 and before,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

“But, we have to understand to win this war, it’s going to take them rejecting it from within,” he added. “This can’t be a Christian vs. Islam or a west vs. east thing.”

{mosads}Trump on Wednesday retweeted videos posted by Jayda Fransen, a leader of the far-right organization Britain First. The group is considered a fringe entity in the U.K. and Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime.

The tweets set off a massive backlash against the president on both sides of the Atlantic.

U.S. civil rights leaders accused Trump of fanning anti-Muslim sentiment and the British government condemned the retweets.

The White House defended Trump’s tweets, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplaying whether the videos were real or not.

“I’m not talking about the nature of the video,” she said Thursday. “I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”

Kinzinger said defeating terrorism will require moderate Muslims uniting to reject extremists and that the White House response does not help.

“I think to rally the American people you can come and say ‘look, listen we’re fighting a real war on terror here.’ But I think to say it’s basically all of Islam, us vs. them, or to retweet this video is definitely not helpful in the least,” Kinzinger said. 

“I do think it matters if you retweet a video that’s not real or put out by an extremist,” Kinzinger added. “You’re the president of the United States, and tone has a big impact.”

Tags Adam Kinzinger Adam Kinzinger Britain First Twitter

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