Sunday 18 February 2018

Donald Trump says Barack Obama may be responsible for Brexit

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Turnberry Golf course in Turnberry, Scotland
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Turnberry Golf course in Turnberry, Scotland

Donald Trump has said US President Barack Obama may be responsible for the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union.

The Republican presidential candidate said the outgoing Democrat President's endorsement for the UK to Remain in the EU "perhaps caused it to fail" and if he had not intervened the result "might have been different".

The immediate aftermath of the referendum result saw turmoil on the markets, with the FTSE plunging by more than 7% at one stage before recovering, while the value of sterling crashed.

Mr Trump - who supported a Brexit - said Prime Minister David Cameron "probably did the right thing" in resigning after he backed a vote to Remain in the EU with the endorsement of Mr Obama.

He said Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who led the charge for the UK to Leave the EU, will be a good replacement as "he got it right so that gives him an advantage".

Mr Trump chose the day after the referendum to open his new Turnberry hotel and golf course on the west coast of Scotland and pledged to "fix" the US in the same way he refurbished the "dilapidated" Turnberry hotel.

Speaking at the Turnberry ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mr Trump said: "I was surprised that President Obama would be so bold to come here and tell people what to do.

"I think a lot of people don't like him and I think if he had not said it I think you're result might have been different."

He added: "He got involved, I don't know if that was through a friendship with David Cameron.

"It could have been. I understand friendship and I can understand why he did it, but I think it is something that 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 his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail."

He continued: "I like David Cameron. He has had a couple of rough statements, but that's okay, I think David Cameron's a good man.

"He was wrong on this. He didn't get the mood of his country right. He was very surprised to see what happened.

"He probably did the right thing but we will see what happens."

On Mr Johnson, he said: "I don't know him, but I'm sure he will be good. He got it right so that gives him an advantage."

Mr Trump said the renovation of Turnberry is "a little bit of what we're going to do to the United States".

He said: "The United States has rotted infrastructure. We have roads that are crumbling. The bridges are a disaster."

He added: "I love what we have done here. Our members love us. Scotland loves us for what we have done. The council love us.

"There's nobody that knows how to fix things like me, and there's nobody knows how to build like me."

Mr Trump mocked press reports suggesting thousands of protesters would gather at Turnberry for his visit, pointing to the few dozen protesters who turned out.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was interrupted by comedian Simon Brodkin, also known as Lee Nelson, who attempted to hand out golf balls with a swastika printed on them before Mr Trump ordered security to "get him out".

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