- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

President Obama said Tuesday that democracies must reject the isolationism represented by both Donald Trump’s candidacy and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, and instead embrace “diverse societies.”

In an interview with the Italian publication La Repubblica, Mr. Obama said the U.S. and allies such as Italy must “reject a politics of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ that tries to scapegoat immigrants or minorities.”

“Many people feel that they are being disadvantaged by trade and immigration,” Mr. Obama said in response to a question about Mr. Trump and Brexit. “We saw this in the vote in the U.K. to leave the EU. We see it in the rise of populist movements, on both the left and the right.”

He said the challenge “requires that we hold fast to our values and traditions as pluralistic and diverse societies.”

The president spoke ahead of hosting a State Dinner at the White House Tuesday night for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The leaders also will hold a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden as Mr. Obama highlights international efforts to help more refugees, especially from the Middle East and Africa.

“Italy is clearly at the forefront of the refugee crisis, which is a humanitarian catastrophe and a test of our common humanity,” Mr. Obama said. “Prime Minister Renzi has been an eloquent voice for a compassionate and coordinated response to this crisis, including the need for assistance to African countries where so many of these migrants originate.”

Mr. Obama said the U.S. will push forward with plans to accept and resettle 110,000 refugees over the next year.

“Given the magnitude of this crisis, the entire world has to do more,” he said.

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