Trump criticized for 'Islamophobic' retweet featuring Pelosi, Schumer

People are outraged as Trump retweets a doctored photo depicting Sen. Chuck Schumer in a turban and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a hijab standing in front of the Iranian flag.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hold a news conference with fellow congressional Democrats to demand that the U.S. Senate vote on the House-passed "Bipartisan Background Checks Act" passed by the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in W (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hold a news conference with fellow congressional Democrats to demand that the U.S. Senate vote on the House-passed "Bipartisan Background Checks Act" passed by the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in W
(photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
On Monday, US President Donald Trump retweeted a doctored image of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer wearing traditionally Middle Eastern head coverings in front of an Iranian flag. The graphic has the words "Democrats 2020" sprawled across the bottom and is accompanied by the caption, "The corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah's rescue. #NancyPelosiFakeNews"
After the president's retweet, a wave of criticism and charges of "Islamophobia" ensued.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote in a statement on its website that, "a tweet by President Trump of an Islamophobic image mocking Islam and Muslims will further endanger members of the American Muslim and Sikh communities."
CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad said that Trump's "childish, undignified and offensive" retweet "further endangers American Muslims, Sikhs and members of other faiths who wear recognizable religious attire and are increasingly targeted by bigots nationwide." He also called on Americans to "speak out against this promotion of religious hatred by the occupant of the Oval Office."
The Sikh Coalition also criticized the tweet, saying that: "Religious articles of faith are sacred to those who keep them, and they should never be used to demonize entire nations, cultures or religions." The organization added that images like the one that Trump retweeted "endanger communities including Muslims, Sikhs, and others."
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham speaking to Fox News, defending Trump's retweet.
“I think the president is making clear that the Democrats have been parroting Iranian talking points and almost taking the side of terrorists and those who were out to kill the Americans,” Grisham told Fox News. "I think the president was making the point that the Democrats hate him so much that they're willing to be on the side of countries and leadership of countries who want to kill Americans."
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner read one Twitter user's reaction, in which the user questioned why Trump would use "the way I and millions of other Americans dress and the religious beliefs that We hold as a slur."
According to CBS, the original poster of the doctored image "extensively" tweets about the conspiracy that Pelosi is aiding Iran.
The hashtag "#NancyPelosiFakeNews," has been used frequently by "Trollbot" accounts, or automated and anonymous troll accounts, according to Bot Sentinel, a website that analyzes Twitter trends.