11:15AM, Tuesday 12 January 2021
Photo: The White House
A Maidenhead councillor has defended now-deleted pro-Trump tweets as mere mockery of the US President’s 'outrageous' behaviour.
Councillor Gurpreet Bhangra (Conservative, Boyn Hill) was called out on social media for tweeting out Trump messages on Saturday, January 2.
A couple of tweets were made with ‘#Trump2024’ attached. One including a GIF of Trump riding ‘the Trump train’ with his campaign’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan plastered on.
In another, he tweeted ‘#voterfraud’ and ‘#VoterID’, something Trump and his team repeatedly made false claims about election fraud without providing any evidence.
Cllr Bhangra also appeared to mock President-elect Joe Biden, with the hashtags ‘#SleepyJoe’, ‘#JoeBidenIsNotMyPresident’, ‘#BidenCrimeFamilyExposed’, and ‘#JoeBidenUkraineScandal’.
In a statement, Cllr Bhangra said these tweets were meant to be seen as “classic British sarcasm”, mocking the US President for not accepting the results of the recent election.
He added he deleted the tweets when he saw rioters swarming the Capitol Building on January 7 as he felt they were 'inappropriate'.
Five died as pro-Trump rioters clashed with police and stormed the House of Congress.
Cllr Bhangra said: “I am nothing but deeply critical of President Trump and the totally unacceptable and appalling scenes of recent days.
“My tweets were sent as way of classic British sarcasm – almost like Ian Hislop or Paul Merton on Have I Got News For You – and that was on the 2nd January 2021 before seeing these appalling recent scenes. I deleted the tweets soon after as I felt they were inappropriate given the events in Washington.
“I was mocking the disgraceful and outrageous behaviour of President Donald Trump for not accepting the result of the election. His unwillingness to do so has left me saddened and angry.
“Finally, I wish to say I completely condemn the violence that had taken place on Capitol Hill on the 7th January. The scenes from Washington were unbelievably saddening and distressing.
“The United States is a beacon of democracy, hope and liberty. Regardless of one’s political allegiance, there must now be an orderly transition of power.”
Twitter and other social media giants have banned Donald Trump after he called the people who stormed the US Capitol 'patriots', fearing further incitement of violence.