Friday 9 December 2016

'It's not a result I expected' - Leo Varadkar 'still trying to digest' results of American election

Anne Marie Walsh

Published 09/11/2016 | 11:44

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said he is "still trying to digest" the results of the American election.

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Mr Varadkar, who has been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump, said he was surprised, like a lot of people today,  at the result.

"It's not a result I expected," he said. "I think,  like a lot of people today, I'm surprised at the result and I'm still trying to digest it and what it means.

"But what I will say is the links between Ireland and America are human, they're economic and they're cultural and they go back centuries.

"The relationship between Ireland and America is of huge importance to us and certainty more important to us than who holds a particular office at a particular point in time and we're determined to work with the new President to build on the economic,  cultural and personal links that exist between our two countries."

When asked if he would have preferred to see Hillary Clinton return to the White House, he said: "The decision is made and it's a democracy and the American people voted in big numbers to elect Donald Trump as President. And we accept that and respect it."

He said the government would work with the new administration to build on the links between our two countries.

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