US president Donald Trump has said he is prepared to apologise for retweeting three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of the far-right British political group Britain First in November, a day after meeting prime minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In a clip published from the president's first internationally broadcast interview since entering the White House, conducted by Piers Morgan for ITV's Good Morning Britain, Trump said he "didn't know who [Britain First] were".
Towards the end of the clip Morgan asked for an apology, which he said would "go a long way".
"Here's what fair, if you're telling me that these are horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you'd like me to do that. I know nothing about them," Trump said. "I don't want to be involved with people like that."
Morgan began the interview, which will air on Sunday, by pointing out that Britain First was "racist" and "fascist".
"Of course I didn't know that," the president responded.
Among retweets from Jayda Fransen, who was later suspended from Twitter as part of a crackdown on "hateful conduct", were videos captioned "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!" and "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!"
"I know nothing about them, and I know nothing about them today other than a little bit," Trump said, adding that it "wasn't a big story" in the US.
He was quick to stress that he posted a series of retweets, and didn't upload the videos himself.
"When you do your own tweeting, when you do your own social media, it's fine. When you do those retweets it can cause problems because you never know who's doing it to start off with," he said.
Morgan pointed out that it appeared as though he was endorsing the videos.
"I don't know who they are, I don't know [anything] about them, so I wouldn't be doing that," Trump said. "And I am, as I say often, I am the least racist person that anybody's going to meet. And certainly I wasn't endorsing anybody. I knew nothing about them."
The retweets prompted international outrage and strong criticism from Theresa May, who said spreading them was the "wrong thing to do". At the time, Trump fired back on Twitter.
"The real me is somebody that loves Britain, loves the UK," the president said. "So I don't want to cause any difficulty for your country, that I can tell you."
Morgan asked for an apology for the retweets, which he said would "go a long way".
"If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologise if you’d like me to do that," the president replied.
Trump's latest comments come two weeks after he cancelled a planned working visit to London in February, claiming he is not a "fan" of the new US embassy building he was due to open in Vauxhall.
Hazel is a news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Hazel Shearing at email@example.com.
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