Monday 26 June 2017

President-elect interview biased, says Flanagan

‘Colour piece’ claim: Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
‘Colour piece’ claim: Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Minister Charlie Flanagan brushed aside Donald Trump's remarks on Brexit and Ireland, accusing the British MP who interviewed the US president-elect of not being impartial in the debate.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said he doesn't regard the prominent 'Leave' campaigner, Conservative MP Michael Gove, as being "an impartial reporter".

He said he felt the London 'Times' interview was more of a "colour piece" but added he looks forward to Mr Trump's inauguration.

In the interview, Mr Trump said Brexit will be "a great thing" and predicted other countries will leave the European Union. He also hit out at Ireland's planning laws, citing them as an example of EU bureaucracy. He said he had planned a "massive expansion" of his resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare, but "now I couldn't care less about it".

Mr Trump said this was because EU approval "would have taken years" and added: "I don't think that's good for a country like Ireland.

"So you know what I did? I said forget it, I'm not gonna build it."

One Government source last night said it's in "wait and see mode" when it comes to Mr Trump.

They agreed with Mr Flanagan's view on the interview, saying Mr Gove is "Mr Brexit".

Earlier, Minister Richard Bruton told RTÉ he didn't agree with Mr Trump's view on the planning system, saying: "These environmental protections are vital to our country."

Irish Independent

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