DONALD Trump has landed in Clare and in a typically blunt press conference at Shannon Airport, he said Brexit will be good for Ireland, while he defended his environmental record.
He spoke to the press while accompanied by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and in advance of the meeting between the two he said, “It’s an honour to be here, we’ll discuss various things, probably you’ll (Varadkar) ask me about Brexit, because I just left some very good people who are very much involved with Brexit as you know. I think it’ll all work out, all work out very well and also for you, with your wall, your border. We have a border situation in the United States and you have one over here. I think they’re both going to work out well, it’s going to work out very well here. Both the military and trade are a very big factor and we’re going to be discussing that very much. It’s an honour to be in Ireland with my friend, he’s doing a great job as your Prime Minister.”
Speaking about the decision to stay at the Trump property in Doonbeg, he commented, “I thought this would be the best place, I love to come to Ireland and stay at Doonbeg”.
He also denied that the Irish stop was motivated by a wish to promote the Clare hotel and golf course. When asked if increasing the profile of Doonbeg was the purpose of the visit, Mr Trump said, “It’s really about great relationships that we have with the UK and I really wanted to do the stop in Ireland, it was very important because of the relationship I have with the people and your prime minister”.
President Michael D Higgins criticised Trump for being “regressive and pernicious” on the environment this week, and while the US President said he wasn’t aware of the remarks, he stated, “I haven’t heard those comments but we have the cleanest air in the world in the United States and it’s gotten better since I’m president. We have the cleanest water, crystal clear “.
Returning to President Higgins’ criticism, he said, “I haven’t heard his comments but we’re setting records environmentally”.
by Owen Ryan in Shannon