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- A string of Dutch government authorities have said a video retweeted by Donald Trump was untrue.
- The video shows a brunette boy beating up a blond boy holding a crutch.
- It purported to be of a “Muslim migrant” beating up a Dutch boy.
- Dutch authorities say the perpetrator is in fact a Dutch national.
Dutch authorities — including the police — have confirmed that a video posted by UK far-right leader Jayda Fransen, which was retweeted by Donald Trump, was untrue.
The grainy clip that Fransen shared on Wednesday shows a dark-haired teenage boy punching and kicking a blond boy holding a crutch. It was recorded in Monnickendam, a town northeast of Amsterdam, in May.
Fransen tweeted alongside the video: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
A string of Dutch government authorities have since said that Fransen’s characterisation was false.
In a response to Trump’s retweet, the Netherlands Embassy in Washington wrote: “Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands.
“He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.”
According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Dutch attorney general’s office, which handled the case, refused to comment on the teenager’s religion as it is against their policy to share such details.
None of this information is particularly new. Shortly after the video came to light in May, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf had already reported that the boy was from Edam-Volendam, a municipality near Monnickendam.
The first was reported by Dutch press in May, with no mention of anyone’s religion. Police asked that the video be removed at the request of the victim. pic.twitter.com/6ONjoiz5LJ
— Alastair Reid (@ajreid) November 29, 2017
The Dutch fact-check is unlikely to unnerve the White House, however.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real. His goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Trump retweeting unverified, incendiary anti-Muslim videos: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real… those are real no matter how you look at it.” https://t.co/Iqk4mORx6s #11MSNBC pic.twitter.com/Q7XDFks90k
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) November 29, 2017
Such spread of misinformation isn’t rare for Fransen and her anti-Muslim movement, Britain First. The group and its leaders often post on social media videos with incorrect captions.
Since April, Britain First has posted at least ten videos containing scenes “substantially different” to those described in their captions, the UK’s Press Association reported earlier this year.
Multiple high-profile personalities — including British Prime Minister Theresa May, the husband of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, and internet conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson — have all slammed Trump for retweeting Britain First.
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