- U.S. presidential candidate arrives at Scottish golf course
- ‘They’ve taken back their independence,’ Trump tells reporters
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised the decision by British voters to withdraw from the European Union during an appearance at his golf course in Scotland Friday and said he sees “a big parallel” to his own campaign.
There are “great similarities between what happened here and my campaign,” Trump said at a news conference at his Turnberry property, wearing a white "Make America Great Again" hat. “People want to take their country back."
During his first international trip as the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump said he hadn’t discussed the Brexit vote with his foreign policy advisers but that “zero will change” in the U.S. relationship with the U.K. He also said the immediate drop in the value of the British pound may be good for tourism.
“If the pound goes down they’re going to do more business,” he said. “Let’s see what the impact of that is. I think you’ll see a lot of activity."
Trump criticized President Barack Obama for coming out against Brexit. "It’s something he shouldn’t have done. It’s not his country. It’s not his part of the world. He shouldn’t have done it. And I actually think that his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail," he said.
He said he had no opinion on whether the European Union should break up. "It looks like it’s on its way and we’ll see what happens," he said. He described immigration in Germany and Europe as a "real problem" and said he has friends in Germany who are thinking about moving "because of the tremendous influx of people."
‘Angry Over Borders’
Just minutes before Trump touched down, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron had announced he was resigning after a dramatic 24 hours. Results of the June 23 Brexit referendum showed voters had backed “Leave” by 52 percent to 48 percent, defying betting odds, polling experts and much of the political establishment.
Trump’s comments tapped into the similarities between his own political ascendancy and the populist tide sweeping the U.K. Polls show that many voters who want to leave the EU after more than four decades of membership cited immigration as a reason.
“They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, and nobody even knows who they are," Trump said. The U.K. may be divided now -- Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and face being taken out against their will -- but “it’ll heal, it’ll heal,” he said.
“They have taken back their independence,” Trump said later. “And that is an important thing.”
Bagpipes and Protesters
Greeted by three dozen or so protesters, Trump arrived in a helicopter wearing a white "Make America Great Again" hat. About three dozen members of his Turnberry property cheered for him as two bagpipers dressed in traditional Scottish kilts played for him. He was accompanied by his son Eric, 33, and potential donors as he continues to increase his fundraising apparatus.
The scene was similar to Trump’s events at Mar-a-Lago, his property in West Palm Beach, where he has had several press conference events and included members of his club.
Trump released a statement looking to further draw parallels between the Brexit vote and the upcoming US elections, saying that U.K. voters "declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy."
"Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence,” Trump said in the statement. "They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again."