Trump’s claims that he predicted Brexit revealed as ‘fake news’
The president said he forecast the result in 2016, but he in fact spoke about the vote the day after it happened.
Donald Trump has claimed he successfully predicted the outcome of the Brexit vote on his last visit to the UK, when he in fact spoke about the issue the day after the referendum was held.
Speaking alongside Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers on Friday, the president said he had forecast the outcome of the vote when he visited Scotland to officially reopen his Turnberry golf resort in 2016.
He said: “If you remember I was opening Turnberry the day before Brexit.”
However the president, who was at the time the Republican candidate for the White House, carried out the ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 24 2016 – the day after the crunch vote.
After the vote on June 23, the result of the ballot became clear early the next morning – several hours before Mr Trump spoke at Turnberry.
Tweeting when he arrived in Scotland on June 24, Mr Trump appeared aware of the vote for Brexit: “Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”
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
Recalling that visit during the press conference on Friday, he said there had been “an unbelievably large number of reporters there”, adding: “I guess everybody was there because of Brexit.
“They all showed up on the 9th hole, overlooking the ocean, and I said what’s going on, and all they wanted to talk about was Brexit.
“They asked for my opinion and I think you will agree I said Brexit will happen, and it did happen. Then we cut the ribbon.
“The reason I felt it was going to happen was because of immigration. One of the reasons I got elected was because of immigration, I felt that Brexit had the upper hand, and most people didn’t agree with me.”
He insisted: “I said I thought it was going to happen and it did happen.”
White House staffer Stephanie Grisham insisted on Friday that Mr Trump was correct to claim he had visited Turnberry prior to the Brexit vote, tweeting “I was there.”
He did. It actually is true. I was there. June 23. https://t.co/5xrbSks1Xd— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) July 13, 2018
He did speak about the referendum on his visit to Turnberry at the time, giving his reasons why he believed Britain had narrowly voted to quit the European Union.
“People want to take their country back and they want to have independence, in a sense,” Mr Trump said at the time.
“You see it all over Europe. In my opinion, you’re going to have more than just what happened last night. You’re going to have, I think, many other cases where they want to take their borders back, their monetary (policy) back, take a lot of things back. They want to be able to have a country again.”