Donald Trump, in Scotland, compares Brexit vote to his campaign rise

TURNBERRY, Scotland Surrounded by the lush Scottish countryside, a lighthouse in the background, a bagpiper and his family, Donald Trump held court at his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland. It was a promotional event for Trump's brand combined with a press conference - in the midst of major upheaval in Europe, as the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

Trump repeatedly praised the "Brexit" and compared it to his own rise to being the presumptive Republican nominee in the United States.

"I think that's what's happening in the United States," Trump said, from the ninth hole. "It's not staying together. It's a really positive force taking place. They want to take their country back. The people want their country back. We don't want to lose our jobs. We don't want to lose our borders."

The presumptive Republican nominee pivoted from playing golf historian on famous tournaments played on his course to discussing one of the most significant - and potentially calamitous - events in the EU's history, which had already caused a steep plunge in world markets, unnerved by instability in the British pound. Trump, however, dismissed those concerns.

"You know, if the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry," Trump said. "Frankly, and the pound has gone down and let's see what the impact of that has, but I think that places like Scotland and England and different places -- in Great Britain, I think you're going to see a lot of activity."

This was an issue that Trump needed to study up on, given that just two days ago, he said bluntly that he had no authority on the subject.

"I don't think anybody should listen to me because I haven't really focused on it very much," Trump said to Fox Business Network.

The press conference didn't get off to a smooth start. A stunt comedian from Britain, Lee Nelson, greeted Trump at the podium and tried to hand out golf balls with swastikas. Trump paused while Secret Service escorted him off the golf course, muttering, "Get him out."

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A protester holds up golf balls with a swastika as he is removed from a press conference by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Turnberry Golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, June 24, 2016.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX2I05N


In spite of the interruption, Trump quickly regained his footing and sparred with the media, mostly training his ire on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

"I mean he's constantly dictating to the world what they should do," Trump said. "The world doesn't listen to him."

Obama had made known his position that he had hoped that Great Britain would remain in the EU. He even said that a new trade deal might take a decade to renegotiate from outside the European bloc. Trump disagreed.

"Well, President Obama did say, I guess, that they should move to the back of the line," Trump said. "That wouldn't happen with me. The UK's been such a great ally for so long. They'll always be at the front of the line. They've been amazing allies - in good times and bad times."

He went on to blame Obama for the vote - saying that the president was "embarrassed."

"I don't know if that was through his friendship with David Cameron," Trump said, mentioning the Britsh prime minister. "It could've been, and I understand friendship, and I can understand why he did it. I kind of understand that, but I think it's something he shouldn't have done. It's not his country. It's not his part of the world. He shouldn't have done it. And I actually I think his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail."

When first asked about Cameron, who announced his resignation after the vote, Trump said he was "a good man" but that he misread the mood of his country when Cameron harshly criticized Trump's temporary plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. One reporter asked what he thought of the fact that Cameron didn't want to meet with him, which Trump denied.

"David Cameron would have met me," Trump said. "David Cameron was negotiating to meet me, but right now, I don't think David Cameron wants to meet anybody."

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, as he is watched by two pipers in front of the lighthouse, at his Turnberry golf course, in Turnberry, Scotland, Britain June 24, 2016.

REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne - RTX2HZU0

In spite of all the questions about politics, for Trump, this was a showcase for the Trump brand. He is a unique nominee - and this was very much on display even across the Atlantic. He landed in front of the Turnberry clubhouse in a helicopter, with dozens of cameras flashing. Lines of invited guests wearing red "Made Turnberry Great Again" greeted him when he arrived.

The presumptive Republican nominee spent the first quarter of his news conference extolling the virtues of the renovated Turnberry golf course. He even had his three oldest children, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, address the press and invited members of the club. After the press conference, which lasted for about an hour, Trump cut a ribbon with his children. One photographer heckled from the back, "That's the greatest ribbon I've ever seen."