Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Foreign Affairs Democrats to Tillerson: Trump's Anti-Muslim Retweets Endanger Americans

Dec 7, 2017
Press Release
Lawmakers Seek Briefing on the Safety & Security of Americans Abroad

WASHINGTON—Led by Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel, 20 Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voiced serious concerns about the President’s recent anti-Muslim retweets and their impact on the safety and security of American citizens abroad, and asked for an immediate briefing on the matter.

The members wrote, “We write to urgently request a briefing on the effect of the President’s use of social media which has the potential to impact negatively the safety and security of Americans around the world. According to CNN, the State Department communicated to the White House their concerns about potential protests at U.S. embassies abroad as a result of the President’s November 29th retweets. Specifically, we would like to know what concerns the State Department raised with the White House, to whom specifically those concerns were made known and when they were made known.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

December 6, 2017

The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are extremely troubled by the President’s promotion of three inflammatory, doctored videos from a British far-right Twitter account rife with anti-Muslim content.  These retweets—official statements from the President, according to Administration officials—present a serious danger not only to our brave diplomats serving around the world but to all Americans living or traveling abroad.

We write to urgently request a briefing on the effect of the President’s use of social media which has the potential to impact negatively the safety and security of Americans around the world. According to CNN, the State Department communicated to the White House their concerns about potential protests at U.S. embassies abroad as a result of the President’s November 29th retweets. Specifically, we would like to know what concerns the State Department raised with the White House, to whom specifically those concerns were made known and when they were made known.

Every day, American diplomats should go to work confident that the United States government is doing everything possible to keep them safe. As members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we believe it is our top priority to ensure that the American women and men who are serving their country around the world do not face unnecessary risks, especially those created by our own government.

By promoting bigoted, nationalist, and racist ideology and policies on Twitter, President Trump is not only promoting Islamophobia but also stoking hatred of America and helping to recruit those who mean harm to our country and citizens. This is inconsistent with American values, and counter to U.S. foreign policy—especially when it means alienating an important ally. 

On November 30th, British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly stated that President Trump was wrong to share the aforementioned videos posted by the “hateful” British far-right group. We could not agree more.

We look forward to hearing from you and your staff to immediately schedule a briefing for the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the reported threats about which the State Department warned the White House related to the President’s tweets.

Sincerely,

###