Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump took a bit of a victory lap during a press conference at Turnberry, Scotland — where he is opening a renovated golf course — weighing in on voters in the United Kingdom (UK) deciding to leave the European Union (EU).
“This is an amazing honor,” Trump said as he took the podium, after a protester briefly interrupted the event and was escorted out of the press conference. “Very historic day for a lot of reasons, not only Turnberry,” Trump stated, referencing the Brexit vote. “Not only did it win, but it won by a much bigger margin than people” had thought, and “it’s always the will of the people ultimately that wins out.”
“I felt it was going to happen,” he added of the Brexit vote.
“It was very exciting coming in,” he added of the night before when he arrived in Scotland. “I think that it’s purely historic and what’s happening is historic.”
Some 52 percent of voters in the UK voted to leave the EU. But voters in Scotland wanted to stay part of the EU.
Many Republican strategists had criticized Trump’s visit to Scotland saying it was a “strategic mistake,” but it appears a trip to the UK couldn’t have come at a better time for the billionaire, who said he came to Scotland to support his children who were in charge of the renovation of Turnberry.
Trump earlier said that if he was British, he would want to leave the EU. However, both President Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said UK voters should vote to remain part of the EU.
Many pundits say the people of England voted to exit the EU because of heavy regulations and the free flow of immigration and open borders, which are the same issues present in America’s 2016 general election as Trump has urged Americans to close borders citing national security reasons.
“I think I see a big parallel. I think people really see a big parallel,” Trump stressed of what is happening in the United States and the Brexit vote with UK voters deciding to leave the EU. “People want to take their country back. They want to have independence in a sense.”
Trump said he thinks there will be “more and more” of this happening in other countries and the U.S. as well, saying, “People want to see borders.”
“I think a lot of it has to do with immigration,” Trump stated.
“I think that’s what’s happening in the United States…the people want their country back,” he added. “I think they’ll end up being stronger for it.”
“I think he was very surprised to see what happened,” Trump said, speaking of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who Trump said didn’t get the mood of his country right regarding the Brexit movement.
He said the people of Scotland should decide whether or not Scotland should have its independence. “That’s up to the people of Scotland.”
“I think places like Scotland and England…you’re going to see a lot of activity,” Trump said about increasing business even as the pound is decreasing in value surrounding the Brexit vote, adding, “I think it could very well turn out to be a positive.”
“I thought this would be a good thing,” he added, saying nothing will change between the United States and its relationship with the UK. “They’ll be a very powerful call.”
“The UK has been such a great ally for so long,” he added, saying they’ll always be at the front of the line, not at the back as President Obama had said when he was urging voters not to leave the EU at an earlier press conference with Cameron. The audience applauded Trump’s statement about the relationship between the UK and US not changing.
“I was very surprised when I heard President Obama say that,” Trump added, also taking time to criticize Hillary Clinton for urging voters not to leave the EU like Obama did, saying, “She’s always misread everything.”
Prior to talking about Brexit, Trump spoke about his mother who was born in Scotland.
“Her loyalty to Scotland was incredible,” he said of his mother who immigrated to the U.S. when she was 19-years-old. “Taking this hotel, and done the job that we’ve done with it, is just an honor.”