'I haven't come to the US to answer to Farage': Kenny rejects Trump apology call
Ireland's premier has rebuffed Nigel Farage's call for him to apologise to President Donald Trump for accusing him of using racist language.
During the US election campaign, Enda Kenny characterised comments made by the Republican candidate as "dangerous and racist".
Enda Kenny explains that a person who uses racist language is not necessarily racist pic.twitter.com/mQx4CujiGy— TheJournal Politics (@TJ_Politics) March 15, 2017
Mr Kenny will have his first face-to-face meeting with Mr Trump in the White House on Thursday.
In a radio interview on Wednesday, former Ukip leader Mr Farage, a friend of the president, said the Taoiseach should start discussions in the Oval Office by saying sorry.
"How much more insulting can you be than to call someone racist?" Mr Farage told RTE.
"I think he needs to apologise."
Mr Kenny rejected Mr Farage's remarks.
He also insisted that his comments about Mr Trump referred to his use of language and not his personality.
He said it "did not follow" that characterising someone's language as racist meant you were accusing them of being a racist.
"Well I haven't come to America to answer to Nigel Farage," he said.
"I am the leader of the Irish government and very proud and privileged to be so.
"I am responding to an invitation sent by the president of the United States and I am very happy to go to the White House tomorrow and to continue the traditional connection between Ireland and the United States, symbolising the contribution the Irish people have made over many centuries, our place in America and the fact we want to continue with that.
"So I have nothing further to say in respect of comments made by Mr Farage."