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Letter to the Hon. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State - Trump's Anti-Muslim Retweets Endanger Americans


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.