- Thomson Reuters
In a lengthy press conference from his golf course in Scotland on Friday, Donald Trump cheered the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and noted the parallels to his own campaign, which he built largely on policies of strengthening the US border and stymieing immigration.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke at length about how his administration would handle the so-called Brexit, boasting about correctly predicting how British voters would decide.
The result is widely regarded as a boon for Trump’s campaign. Experts have said the UK vote reflects growing nationalism and populism across the Western world, sentiments that Trump is said to promote.
Here are some highlights from Trump’s press conference:
He drew a parallel with his own populist campaign in the US: “It’s always the will of the people,” Trump said. “Ultimately, that wins out. They’ve taken back their independence. And that’s a very, very important thing.” He said British concerns about immigration are similar to concerns in the US: “I really do see a parallel between what’s happening in the United States and what’s happening here,” Trump said. “People want to see borders. They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.” He slammed President Barack Obama for saying the UK would be at the back of the line on trade deals if they left the EU: “President Obama did say, I guess, that they should move to the back of the line,” Trump said. “That wouldn’t happen with me. The UK has been such a great ally for so long – they’ll always be at the front of the line. They’ve been amazing allies, in good times and in bad times. … I was very surprised when I heard President Obama say that, and I think he said that because he thought for sure it was going to stay together. But it didn’t stay together.”He bragged about being right about the outcome of the vote: “I felt it wouldn’t stay together,” Trump said. He continued later: “When people asked me what I thought was going to happen, as you know, I said, ‘I think they’re going to break away.’ And it’s just turned out that way. And it’s a little bit surprising because the polls indicated probably that it wouldn’t happen.” He criticized Obama for advising British people to vote “remain”: “I was actually very surprised that President Obama would have come over here and he would have been so bold as to tell the people over here what to do,” Trump said. “And I think that a lot of people don’t like him.” He then roped presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton into his criticism. “She doubled down and she did the same thing” as Obama, “and obviously for the 219th time, they were wrong. They’re always wrong. And that’s the problem.” He said the pound crashing upon the Brexit vote would be good for his Scottish golf course: “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,” he said. “For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.”