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U.S. politicians react to Brexit vote

Last Updated Jun 24, 2016 11:45 AM EDT

During a tour of his golf courses in Scotland, Donald Trump praised the results of Thursday's British vote to exit the European Union, calling it a sign that the United Kingdom "took back control of their country."

"It's a great thing," Trump told reporters Friday at the reopening of his Turnberry, Scotland golf resort. "They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over."


In a separate statement posted to his Facebook page, the billionaire pledged to "strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain," and assured Americans that they too would have an opportunity to "declare their independence" in November's general election.

He also noted that the British vote -- also widely known as "Brexit" -- reflected some parallels to his own bid for the White House.

"I think there are great similarities between happened here and my campaign," the business mogul said in his press conference. "People want to take their country back."

He also predicted that the plummeting worth of Britain's currency could be a net positive in the future, even saying that it could benefit his own business interests in Scotland.

"If the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry frankly," Trump said, referring to his latest golf resort.

In a tweet, Trump said he observed Scotland "going wild" over the referendum results:


Scotland, however, voted to remain in the EU.

A famous British golfer noted Trump's gaffe:


Other U.S. politicians also weighed in on the historic vote, including President Barack Obama.

"The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision," the president wrote in a short statement Friday morning, assuring that the "special relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K. would still remain intact.

"The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world," he said.

Vice President Joe Biden sought to assure Ireland and the EU over their relationships with the U.S. while attending a medal ceremony at Trinity College in Dublin.

"I must say we had looked for a different outcome. We would have preferred a different outcome," Biden said at the university, where he received an honorary law doctorate. "And I would imagine many of you here felt the same way."

But as the United States has a long standing friendship with the United Kingdom, one of the world`s great democracies, we respect the decision that they have made," the vice president added. "And I want to assure all of you in this room that America`s special bond with the United Kingdom runs deep and it will endure, and our relationship with Ireland and with the European Union will remain the cornerstone of our global engagement."

Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, released a statement addressing the British vote, saying she "respect[s] the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made."

She noted, however, that the decision to leave the European Union meant "economic uncertainty" in the near future.

"Our first task has to be to make sure that the economic uncertainty created by these events does not hurt working families here in America," Clinton wrote. "We also have to make clear America's steadfast commitment to the special relationship with Britain and the transatlantic alliance with Europe."

She added that "this time of uncertainty" highlights the need for "calm, steady, experienced leadership" in the White House.

Bernie Sanders, Clinton's rival, also voiced his "concerns" about the vote.

"I think it's a decision for the British people but I have concerns," Sanders, a Vermont senator, said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" Friday. "I have concerns you know when we think back over the last 100 years and the horrible wars, the kind of blood that was shed throughout Europe -- the idea of the countries coming closer together is something that we want to see."

But, he added, "a lot of people are being left behind in this global economy."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, maintained that the relationship between the U.S. and the United Kingdom would remain "unaffected" by the British departure from the EU.

"I respect the decision made by the people of the United Kingdom," Ryan said in a statement Friday morning. "The UK is an indispensable ally of the United States, and that special relationship is unaffected by this vote."

To reporters later in the day, Ryan added that he believed "markets will eventually stabilize," referring to the steep plummets in international and domestic markets occurring after the Brexit results were announced.

"As an American, we value the principle of sovereignty, self-determination, government by consent, and limited government. These are very important principles and these principles are being expressed here at home and around the world. So we clearly understand the thinking behind these principles," he said. "England is our indispensable ally."

Civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, R-Georgia, warned that the vote would have a "devastating" effect on the global economy.

"It is unbelievable. It is unreal," Lewis told "CBS This Morning" Friday. "I believe it is going to have a devastating effect and amazing impact on the market all around the world. I'm interested in seeing what the president is going to say today, what the secretary of treasury is going to say today and maybe how Wall Street reacts today."