Donald Trump was leader in effort to secure Brexit, says White House

Andrew Buncombe

The White House spokesman has claimed Donald Trump was a “leader in the effort to call Brexit” - despite the now president’s ocassional confusion as to what the term meant.

Sean Spicer said Mr Trump was “well steeped” in world affairs, especially issues relating to Europe and Nato.

“He was a leader in the effort to call for Brexit,” he told reporters at the White House.

Mr Trump flew to Scotland last year, the morning after the results of the referendum to push to leave the European Union were revealed. He suggested his campaign for the White House had helped those who wanted to leave and said the people of Britain had taken “back their country”.

“They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, nobody even knows who they are,” said Mr Trump at the ceremony to mark the reopening of a golf resort he owns on Scotland’s west coast.

“They’re angry about many, many things.”

Earlier this year, Mr Trump told The Times that he understood why voters had opted to leave the EU.

“You look at the European Union and it’s Germany. Basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out,” he said.

During the interview, Mr Trump underscored his fondness for the UK and said other countries could follow its lead and leave the EU. “I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think,” said Mr Trump.

Asked whether he would press ahead with a trade deal with the UK that would come into force after Brexit, Mr Trump said: “Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK. We’re going to work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides."

Yet the New York tycoon was not always so up to speed over the debate in Britain as to whether it should leave Europe.

In an interview last summer with Michael Wolff for The Hollywood Reporter, the presumptive Republican nominee appeared to suggest he was did not know the meaning of the world “Brexit”.

“And Brexit? Your position?” Mr Woolf asked.

“Huh?”

“Brexit.”

“Hmm.”

Mr Trump was then told what the abbreviation meant.

He replied: “Oh yeah, I think they should leave.

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