Friday 9 December 2016

Senator backs Taoiseach’s view on ‘dangerous’ Trump rhetoric

Published 13/06/2016 | 02:30

Senator Billy Lawless: 'Some of Trump’s remarks are crazy'. Photo: Tom Burke
Senator Billy Lawless: 'Some of Trump’s remarks are crazy'. Photo: Tom Burke

Irish-American Senator Billy Lawless has said he agrees with the Taoiseach’s view that US presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s rhetoric is “dangerous”, adding that some of it is “absolutely crazy”.

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The Irish Independent can reveal that Mr Lawless – the Chicago businessman appointed to the Seanad by Enda Kenny – has made political donations to both the Democrat and Republican parties.

However, when it comes to the choice between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton in November, he’ll be voting for the former US First Lady. 

Mr Lawless said of the presumptive Republican candidate Mr Trump, “We are very scared of his policies in the United States. Some of the rhetoric is just unbelievable,” he said.

“The thing about immigrants, talking about Mexicans being rapists and he’s going to build a wall that will be higher than the Great Wall of China – all this type of stuff”.  He added that, when it comes to debating policy, “I think Hillary will beat him hands down.”

However, he said, “The thing about it is, don’t be surprised if he becomes president” – referring to the unpredictable nature of the US presidential race so far.

Mr Trump is due to visit his golf resort at Doonbeg, Co Clare, later this month, with Mr Kenny already saying he has no plans to meet him.

Mr Lawless wouldn’t comment on whether

ministers should meet Mr Trump, but said that if they do, they should challenge him on his remarks – which Mr Kenny has branded “racist and dangerous”.

“Of course they should be raising those issues. These are human rights issues.

“He is talking about getting rid of the 11 million undocumented out there. That is impossible,” Mr Lawless said.

The Chicago restaurateur, a US citizen, has been a campaigner for immigration reform in the US and for the undocumented Irish in America.

Mr Lawless has made donations to US political causes totalling $13,340 (€11,777) between 2007 and 2015, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

That includes $3,890 to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and $3,700 to former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, who unsuccessfully challenged Ms Clinton to be his party’s presidential candidate this year.

Mr Lawless has also backed Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth – an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs in an attack on her helicopter – to the tune of $500.

Irish Independent

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