- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2018

President Trump in Britain Friday refused to back down from provocative remarks he made about an immigration surge threatening Europe’s culture and security.

“I know it’s political not necessarily correct to say that, but I’ll say it and I’ll say it loud,” Mr. Trump declared at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr. Trump was under fire for saying in an interview with the London tabloid The Sun that an onslaught of refugees and immigrants “changed the fabric of Europe.”

“I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad,” he told the newspaper. “I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”

Critics said the remarks were racist and echoed white nationalist rhetoric.

Mr. Trump doubled down on it at the press conference.

“I think they better watch themselves because you are changing culture, you are changing a lot of things, you’re changing security,” he said.

The flood of migrants was one of the issues that prompted the Brexit vote in the U.K., with the open-border policy between member countries allowing a free flow of migrants once they gained a foothold in Europe.

Mr. Trump appeared to side with British voters calling the immigration a “very sad situation” and not good for the U.K.

His administration is struggling with weak immigration laws in the U.S., Mr. Trump said.

“You walk across the border, you put one foot on the land, and now you’re tied up in a lawsuit for five years. It’s the craziest thing anyone’s ever seen,” he said.

Mrs. May stressed that the U.K. has a “proud history” of welcoming refugees and that cultural diversity has benefitted Britain.

“Of course, what is important is that we have control of our borders,” she added. “What is important is that we have a set of rules that enables us to determine who comes into our country. And, of course, that is what, as a government, we have been doing for a number of years and will be able to continue to do in the future.”

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