Writing in the New York Times, Ashley Parker casts some shade on Donald Trump’s triumphant reaction to the U.K.’s decision to separate from the European Union.
Early in June, Mr. Trump did not even know what Brexit referred to, and as recently as Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that his opinion on the referendum was insignificant because he had not been following the issue closely.
Amazingly, Trump landed in Scotland today to promote his golf course, seemingly without realizing that the Scots are pissed as hell about the outcome of the referendum.
Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
In a stunning display of tone-deafness, he told the assembled reporters how great it was that the U.K. has asserted its independence. And then proceeded to explain how the tumbling English pound would help his golf course make money.
Ewen MacAskill, a reporter for The Guardian, had an interesting exchange with Trump.
Asked about [Prime Minister David] Cameron, [Trump] expressed sympathy for him, even though there had been what he described as rough patches, presumably a reference to the former prime minister’s criticism of the presumptive Republican candidate. Asked about Boris Johnson, he declined to comment.
Trump said his relationship with the UK was a “love-fest”. I asked Trump why Cameron was not prepared to meet him. He replied: “David Cameron would have met me. David Cameron was negotiating to meet me. But I do not think he wants to meet anyone right now.”
I said no senior UK or Scottish politician wanted to meet him, citing Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, and suggested it was because he was toxic. Taking offence at the question, he described me as “a nasty, nasty guy”.
Nothing unusual there.
Trump’s overall reaction, including in an official statement he placed on Facebook, was completely oblivious to the strong possibility that the Brexit vote will effectively end the United Kingdom as a country by leading to Scottish and Northern Irish independence.
The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.
Setting aside that Scotland was the worst possible place to make this pitch, it’s not clear that anything “British” will remain after all the ramifications of this vote play out. Whatever Britain was, it is no longer that.
Of course, since Trump didn’t even know what Brexit was until sometime in the beginning of this month, it’s pretty clear that he’s just winging it.
At least his staff was presented with some nice nazi golf balls, so the trip wasn’t a total loss.