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Donald Trump’s Brexit press conference was beyond bizarre

Here are key moments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's answers to reporters' questions June 24 at his golf course in Scotland. (Video: Reuters)

Donald Trump is in the midst of a two-day trip to Scotland, a visit that happened to coincide with Britain voting on Thursday to leave the European Union — an absolutely seismic moment in the history of the E.U. Trump held a press conference early Friday to talk about Brexit and lots of other things from his golf course at Turnberry. It was another classic of the genre. Using Genius, I annotated it. You can, too! Sign up for Genius and annotate alongside me! To see an annotation, click or tap the highlighted part of the transcript.

QUESTION: How would the Trump administration approach the Brexit, should you be elected president? And Scotland voted 62-38 to remain. Should Scotland leave the U.K., as many people are talking about?

TRUMP: Yeah. I think I see a big parallel. I think people really — I think people really see a big parallel. A lot of people are talking about that, and not only the United States, but other countries.

People want to take their country back. They want to have independence, in a sense, and you see it with Europe, all over Europe. You're going to have more than just — in my opinion, more than what happened last night, you're going to have, I think many other cases where they want to take their borders back. They want to take their monetary back.

They want to take a lot of things back. They want to be able to have a country again. So, I think you're going have this happen more and more. I really believe that, and I think it's happening in the United States.

It's happening by the fact that I've done so well in the polls. You look at the recent polling, and you look at the swing states and you see how I'm doing, and I haven't even started my campaign yet, essentially.

I mean, we've — we've done very well. We're raising a lot of money for the Republican Party. I'm going to be funding a lot myself, but we're raising a lot of money, John, for the Republican Party. And you'll see those numbers come out in the next — over the next 30 days, and in particular, 60 days.

The numbers that were put out last week were a very start — that was a very small of time just to start. But we have raised a lot of money, especially money coming in in small — from small donors. You'll be amazed when you see the kind of numbers we're talking about, because we were amazed and I was amazed. But that will be reported fairly soon.

But I really do see a parallel between what's happening in the United States and what's happening here. People want to see borders. They don't necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don't know who they are and where they come from. They have no idea.

And I think, you know, it — not only did it win, but it won by a much bigger margin than people thought it would happen.

QUESTION: And how would your administration approach the Brexit, and getting the question of Scottish....

TRUMP: Yeah, you just have to embrace it. It's will of the people. You know, it's not a question of approaching it. It's the will of the people. It's always the will of the people. Ultimately that wins out.

QUESTION: And would you like to see — should Scotland leave, sir?


QUESTION: ... impact of what is taking operation here in Britain? The markets are...

TRUMP: Right. Well, nobody knows. Look, if the pound goes down, they're going to do more business. You know, when the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. And the pound has gone down, and let's see what the impact of that has, but I think places like Scotland and England and different places, in Great Britain, I think you're going to see a lot of — a lot of activity.

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke about Britain leaving the European Union in Turnberry, Scotland on June 24, 2016. (Video: Reuters)

The pound got high, and people weren't able to do maybe what they wanted to do, but for traveling and for other things, you know, I think it could very well turn out to be a positive.

Nobody really knows. You'll know in five years, you'll be able to analyze it, and maybe it will take longer than that, but what is known is that they've taken back their independence. And that's a very, very important thing.

Yeah, Katie?


QUESTION: ... momentous — momentous right now, and you are on the world stage. Are you traveling with any of your foreign policy advisers? You knew that this was going to happen today, there was going to be some sort of decision.

Are you huddling with them to find out what the best way...

TRUMP: Well, I've been in touch with them, but there's nothing to talk about. You know, I've been saying I would prefer what happened. Thing. I thought this would be a good thing, I think it will turn out to be a good thing. Maybe not short term, not, but ultimately I think it will be a good thing.

And I've actually been in touch. And some, by the way, don't like it, and some do like it. You know, they're advisers, they're like everybody else. They probably know less, every one of these advisers.

Somebody said, "Gee, you should use advisers that have been really hot the last five years." I said, "Really? I think I want to use ones that haven't been involved." Take a look at what has happened in the world.

Go ahead, Katie.

QUESTION: A follow up (inaudible). We've got a special relationship, U.S. and the U.K. for quite some time now, but with this vote, their standing in the world, their standing in Europe will certainly be diminished, their influence will be diminished.

Will they still be the first call for you, for the U.S., when seeking help?

TRUMP: Well — well, I don't know, first call or second call, they will be a very powerful call, that's going to be a great relationship. They'll be great allies, they always have been. And I think zero will change on that score. There has never been a better ally, and I think nothing will change on that score, Katie.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump — Mr. Trump, do you believe that the U.S. should move immediately to renegotiate trades with the U.K., or like President Obama has said, should the U.K. now move to the back of the line in light of the Brexit vote?

TRUMP: Well, President Obama did say, I guess that they should move to the back of the line. Now, that wouldn't happen with me. The U.K. has been such a great ally for so long, they'll be always at the front of the line. They've been amazing allies in good times and in bad times.


And sometimes they make mistakes together, but they — as we know, but always been great allies. So — so, I will tell you, I think that I was very surprised when I heard President Obama say that, and I think he said that because he thought for sure it was going to stay together, but it didn't stay together.

And I felt it wouldn't stay together, and again, I think that's what's happening in the United States. 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.

They want to have wage increases. They haven't in the United States, folks. For members — and all of my members at Turnberry, I mean, we've had hard-working, great people that haven't were a real wage increase in 18 years. So they're working harder now and they're making less money.

So — go ahead?

QUESTION: But just — a quick follow-up on that. I mean, the treasury secretary, the Fed chairwoman have both said they expect this, if the Brexit was successful to have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

Are you worried about that at all?

TRUMP: Yeah, Sarah (ph), they don't know. I mean, look, we're going to have to see how it plays out.

What I like is that I love to see people take their country back. And that's really what's happening in the United States. And I think you see that. And that's what's happening in many other places in the world. They're tired of it. They want to take their countries back, and you know, this isn't such a phenomenal — like some people are saying.

And when people asked me what I thought was going to happen, as you know, I said, "I think they're going to break way." And it has turned out that way, and it was little bit surprising, because the polls indicated, probably, that it wouldn't happen, 80 percent.

And when I landed this morning, the first thing I asked is that. And I mean it was fairly close, but it wasn't that close. So we'll see what happens.

I think it will be a good thing. You're taking your country back, you're going to let people that you want into your country, and people that you don't want, or people that you don't think are going to be appropriate for your country, or good for your country, you're not going to have to take.

And you know, look, Europe, like the United States, has made tremendous mistakes over the last period of time. You look at Germany, you look at some of the things that are happening. There have been tremendous mistakes that have been made.

So, I think it's going to end up being a very good thing, but it will take time.


TRUMP: Yeah, Tom?

QUESTION: Your campaign has gotten global attention, all over the world people know who Donald Trump is and your campaign for president. Do you think anything you said in the United States influenced voters here in Britain when it comes leaving the E.U.?

TRUMP: It's a good question.

If I said, "Yes, total influence," — they'll say, "That's terrible, his ego is terrible," right? So I will never say that, Tom. I would like to give you that one, but I can't say it.

You know, look, the question was, what do I think? And I gave my opinion a few times over the last few months, but I also said, I really don't people to listen to it because it's not me, it's about them. It's about them it's their country.

My opinion is that what happened should have happened. I think they will end up being strong for it, and they'll control their country, and they'll control everything about their country.


QUESTION: David Cameron said that, "you were wrong when you proposed banning Muslims from entering the U.S. Do you think he got the mood of his country wrong and do you think he was right to resign?

TRUMP: Well, I like David Cameron and he had a couple of rough statements, but that's okay.

I think David Cameron is a good man. He was wrong on this. He didn't get the mood of his country right. He was surprised. I think he was very surprised to see what happened but he is a good man and he felt that way. And probably did the right thing but we'll see what happens. I like David Cameron.

Yes sir?


Do you think following your argument about sovereignty, do you think Scotland should have it's independence? Would you support that?

TRUMP: Well, that's up to the people of Scotland. You know, we've been through this. And really, again, I leave it up to the people.

I love the people of Scotland. That's why I built in Aberdeen in one of the great golf courses of the world. It was up to judge to be the greatest course ever built new. New is being defined as form 1960 to present. You know, we're very proud of it.

I've gotten to know the people of Scotland so well and you know, through my mother and through everything else. The people of Scotland are amazing people. You know, that question really has to be addressed to the people. It was a very, very close vote.

I don't know if people want to go through that again. I was here when people were going through that vote. I didn't take sides, but I will tell you, it was a nasty period. And I can't imagine they go through that again, but the people of Scotland may speak differently.

Yes sir?

QUESTION: Just on what you said as well about Europe and other countries in Europe. Would you support the breakup of the European Union because that seems to be what would happen?

TRUMP: Well, it looks like it's on it's way. We'll see what happens.

I can tell you, I have a lot of friends living in Germany that have always been very proud Germans to a level that you wouldn't believe. They would be bragging about their country. They would be talking about their country as though there would be no place.

They're members of Mar-a-Lago and different places that I have. Now, those same people, some of them are saying they're leaving Germany, they're moving. They never even thought of moving but now they're thinking about moving because of the tremendous influx of people. And you know what's happening Germany, it's a real problem.

These are people that were very proud Germans that were beyond belief, they thought the greatest that there ever was and now they're talking about leaving Germany. And you see the problems in German. So I could see it happening. I have no opinion really, but I could certainly see it happening.

I saw this happening. I could read what was happening. And I could see things happening Germany. I hope they straighten the situation because it can really become a nasty — it can be very nasty. What's going on can be very, very nasty.

Building safe-zones in Syria, great idea. Building safe zones magnificent, big safe as can be. But when you're taking them into the United States by the thousands and we don't know who they are, when you're taking them into Germany and other countries -- all you have to do is look around. Look around the world, see what's happening? It's some real problems.

QUESTION: It is easy for politicians to use immigration to divide an electorate. How does a leader unite people?

TRUMP: Well, you unite people by having a happy country.

And when people pour into the country and it doesn't work, whether it's because of crime or various other things, you're not going to be uniting anybody. I just told you about Germany where people want to leave Germany. People there that I would never in a million years say that these people want to leave, but they're going to be leaving. So you can't unite a country by forcing things down to peoples' throat. And that's what happened here, people are not happy.

Yes sir?

QUESTION: Do you think that the referendums (ph) would have a seismic impact on the British economy? Do you intend to steal (ph) that for investments in Scotland? And how to does it feel to be on the sidelines of the news cycle?

TRUMP: Well, you know, if anything, I have big investments over in Europe.

I have — as you know, I own Dunebeg in Ireland, which is a phenomenal hotel. It's one of the most beautiful hotels. It's one of the most highly rated hotels in all of Europe and it's got a golf course on this large, five — almost 500-acre parcel of land, on the Atlantic Ocean, and does great.

I own Turnberry, I own Aberdeen. I'm going to go stop at Aberdeen for a little while; I'm actually leaving — I'll only be here for one night, because I have to go back and campaign, which I actually love doing, to be honest with you. But I wanted to — really, I wanted to support my children, who have really poured their hearts and souls into this development.

So — but — but you know, I think you understand. Yes, go ahead.

QUESTION: Being — being you're campaigning, a lot of people in the States are saying, did you really have to be here for this, I mean...

TRUMP: Yeah. Because you know why I'm here? Because I support my children.

OK, next. Yeah, Tom, go ahead.

QUESTION: On fund-raising. You mentioned that you paid for Turnberry without any debt.

TRUMP: Right.

QUESTION: You — now, you're a politician. Does it bug you to have to pick up the phone and ask people to donate to your campaign?

TRUMP: Yeah, I don't like doing it. I don't like doing it, Tom.

I mean, again, I'm an honest politician, probably one of the few. Tom's asking, does it bother me to — when you're raising money — and again, Tom, I'm raising this money for the Republican Party. It's something I've never done.

I've always contributed money to lots of people. A lot of campaign contributions over the years. And once I ran, I became like an outsider. But I — no, I don't like doing that, but I have done it, and we've had amazing weeks.

Last week I was in Houston, as you know. We had tremendous lines. Made a speech also and the lines were — actually on ABC they reported, ABC Local, they followed the lines all the way to the highways. It was actually it's — I've never seen anything like that, and then Dallas where we had a similar thing.

But we also had fund-raisers and I've really never done. You know, I sit with 20 people, and we talk, and they all hand you checks, bing, bing, bing, and they're checks to the RNC and the Republican Party, and I feel I have an obligation to do that.

And, Tom, the numbers are going to be, I think quite staggering, especially in July. In fact, Steve Mnuchin is here someplace. Steve?

Are we doing well, Steve, huh? He's one of their great financiers of the country, actually, and I chose him, and he — he wanted to do this, and the numbers are staggering.

Don't forget, we just sort of started this process a few weeks ago, and the first filing was for a very limited period of time, and it was almost before we started, and — but the numbers are amazing. Actually, the numbers for the small donations, we've taken a lot of money otherwise, but the numbers for the small donations are coming in at — I mean, it's beyond anything what — that we thought.

You know, the $20, $50 and $100 donations. But we'll report in June, but especially the July report, I think, will show you some pretty massive numbers.


QUESTION: Mr. Trump, will you go buy (ph) checks? Will you still buy (ph) checks in the campaign?

TRUMP: I'll (inaudible) do it. Well, I just did it the other day. I matched. Right? I put up $2 million, and I say, you know, let's see who's going to go, and we've raised more than $2. But I guess I offered a $2 million incentive for people to put up money. And I don't know if that was the reason, but we had a tremendous response to that, so.


TRUMP: David?

QUESTION: I'm David (inaudible) with the...

TRUMP: I know, David. You don't even have to say. David, go ahead.

QUESTION: Back to — back to the Brexit thing. You said that David Cameron maybe misread the mood of his country. Given that President Obama came over here and tried to encourage people to vote remain, and Hillary Clinton has made it clear she preferred they vote remain, what do you think this says about how Hillary Clinton maybe has misread the world, and since she's a former secretary of state, what does that say about her campaign?

TRUMP: Well, she has always misread everything.


I mean — no, if you think. She has misread this. And I was surprised that she was so bold and to say — well, the only reason she did it is because Obama wanted it. You know, if Obama wanted it the other way, if he said leave, she would have said leave.

She does whatever he wants her to. Now, you know why, but that's okay, we don't have to get into that. But — but I actually was actually very surprised that President Obama would have come here and he would have been so bold as to tell the people over here what to do, and I think that a lot of people don't like him and a lot of people voted — I think if he had — if he had not said it, I think your result might have been different.

But when he said it, people were not happy about it, and I thought it was totally inappropriate. And when I said what I said, I told people, I said, don't do I'm saying necessarily, do whatever you think, but this was just my opinion.

He came in and really tried to convince people to stay. And I thought it was inappropriate, and then she doubled down and she did the same thing. And obviously, for the 219th time, they were wrong. They're always wrong. And that's the problem with them.

Yes, sir?

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, (inaudible) from LBC radio. And Prime Minister David Cameron resigning today. Would you back Boris Johnson as the future prime minister?

TRUMP: I don't know him. I don't know him. I'm sure he'll be good. He got it right. So that gives him an advantage, but I don't know him.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump — Mr. Trump...

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, since your campaign's shake-up — I guess it was earlier in the week, I can't remember what day it is now — we've seen a campaign that's become more focused, more disciplined, more aggressive in rapid response — you, more on point I think that we've seen you in the past. Is this the new you?

TRUMP: I really don't think so.

First of all, Corey was fantastic and we did a great job with a some are small group of people. I say this to all the folks here that don't come from the United States, I ran a campaign in the primaries where we got the largest number of votes in the history of the Republican Party, primary votes. Larger than Ronald Reagan. Larger than Richard Nixon. Larger than Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped win the World War II. And we ran a very lean campaign, and I had fewer people, and I spent less money and I funded the money myself. I spent $55 million, something like that.

STAFF: I think it was $45 million.

TRUMP: And by the way, I'm forced — you know, legally, I have to pay myself back. If I use — this has nothing to do with the campaign. You won't see this, I'm to support my children. But if I use one of my resorts in the United states and we have a press conference or something, by law, I have to pay myself back. I would like not to. I would like to just say, "use the ballroom, don't bother with it." A couple have people said, "pay." By law you have to pay yourself back.

I think this — I think that we should have been given credit for, in addition to winning — for winning with less money spent and with the smallest staff. So now we have a staff of 73 people. Hillary has a staff of 900 people. I won and she won. I don't think that we — I mean, honestly as a businessman, I say, "Wow, he won spending less money and a smaller staff." See, I view that as an advantage.

A lot of pundits say, she has a much bigger staff." I think we're very nimble. I think we're very nimble. I think we're doing well. You've seen the polls comes out, they're very close and very equal. We just had one coming out think from West Virginia where I have a 25-point lead, and North Carolina came out yesterday, a two- point lead. Ohio's even, Pennsylvania's even. The national polls are getting very close. I'm spending much less money. She's spending tremendous amounts of money and we haven't even started yet. So it's going to be very interesting because she spent, what was it? $28 million? She spent a lot of money, and we're even. And that's a good sign — and I think that's a good sign.

When I won New Hampshire I spent a tiny fraction of what other candidates spent, one in particular. I won New Hampshire by a landslide. That person came in seventh. I think, you know, when you can do it on a smaller budget, and with fewer people, that's the kind of person they want to be the president, because to me that's a big thing.

Yes, go ahead, sir?

QUESTION: Mr. Trump, seven in 10 voters told us in a CNN poll, they want to see you cut ties with your business while you're running for President.

TRUMP: I will do that.

QUESTION: Will you do that while running, though?

TRUMP: I will do that.

Well, I don't think it matters while I'm running. While I'm running it doesn't matter. Again, I'm here for the sole reason, though I did want to see the job Eric did because if he didn't do a good job he wouldn't be standing here. I would give him a hard time. Right? He did a beyond job. Beyond, this is phenomenal.

And just as you view this great course you have to see the hotel we built. Phenomenal — phenomenal.

I will absolutely cut ties. You know, the rules are, nobody knows. Okay? It's never had to — where somebody has this big a business and runs for president and wins. If I win, even though I don't have to do that I would probably put everything in trust. My children will run it along with my executives. It's a big company. My children will run it along with my executives, and just do a good job running it.

Let me tell you, the importance of the opportunity that I may be given is so important and so massive. Making great trade deals with China and with you, folks, by the way, but with China, the numbers are so staggering. When you look at trade deficits of $400 billion and $500 billion a year, the numbers are so staggering and incredible. I wouldn't even be thinking about the business. I mean, who cars? I would actually say, who cares? I would absolutely — you don't have to do this but I would most likely put it in a blind trust and they would run it or something.

QUESTION: I think this is the ninth Trump property we visited during your presidential campaign. Why do you continue having events here?

TRUMP: My properties — number one, I have the best properties. Okay? You can say that.

I will say, a lot the of the press has said, "whether you like them or not, there's no properties like that." I have the best properties and you don't get to see that otherwise, but I have the best properties.

TRUMP: And the other thing is, why should I use somebody else's properties? Number one, they're not as good and number two, it's one of those things. I wish, frankly, I wasn't forced by law to pay myself back. We're forced to pay. You do understand that, sir? A couple of people said, "He's paying to his campaign." I'm not paying to my campaign.

I would love to give everything for nothing. By law, I'm forced — whatever the fair market value of a ballroom is, or whatever it may that we use, or an airplane. As an example, if I use an airplane, by law, I have to pay it back. And that's what I do, and that's reflected in the filings.


QUESTION: Mr. Trump, there has been a long-standing tradition in American politics that politics stops at the water's edge. And given your comments about President Obama this morning, it seems you don't seem to buy into that?

TRUMP: Well, he — he didn't stop it at the water's edge, because he made statements about this incredible part of the world. And that this particular country, and frankly, a large group of countries should do — I mean, he's — he's constantly dictating to the world what they should do.

The world does listen to him. Obviously, you can see that by the vote, but he's constantly dictating to other countries. So, you know, certainly, it doesn't stop at the water's edge with him.

And you know, very importantly, he got it totally wrong. And he's embarrassed. I mean, he's embarrassed by the Supreme Court decision yesterday, which was a real rebuke, and he's very embarrassed by — he got involved. I don't know if that was through a friendship with David Cameron. It could have been.

And I understand friendship, and I can understand why he did it. I can 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 think that his recommendation perhaps caused it to fail.

Okay, one more — one more question.



QUESTION: (Inaudible). How much of the Brexit vote do you think is about economic issues that you've been hammering home on the campaign? Low wages, lack of growth in the economy?

TRUMP: Well, I think a lot of it is, but I think a lot of it's borders, I think a lot of it is immigration. I think I speak — spoken. I mean, I have so many members here, hundreds and hundreds of members sitting in the back, and I've spoken to them and they're not happy with the people flowing into the country. They don't want that to happen. And I think that has a lot to do with it.

I really think the borders, you know, it's not so different. It's amazing the way the world is not so different. We're on the other side of the ocean, but the world is not so different. We're right over there, you go many, many miles right in that direction.

And to be honest with you, I think a lot of it has to do with immigration, but I also think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they wanted to be independent. They got tired of seeing stupid decisions, just like the American people are tired of seeing stupid decisions. Whether it's the Iran deal, whether it's the border where people just flow across the border like Swiss cheese.

They're tired of seeing stupid decisions made. They're tired of looking at horrible trade deals. And you have bad trade deals here, too. And so, I think — I think that has a lot to do with it.

QUESTION: Does the Brexit deal (inaudible) your campaign?

TRUMP: Well, I think the Brexit deal, I think when you talk about leave, you know, I felt, again, knowing the people here very well, but not wanting to get involved, but I felt that that was going to happen. I felt it was going to happen, and there is great similarities between what happened here and my campaign.

Yeah. People want to take their country back. Okay. Maybe one more question.


QUESTION: (Inaudible) is the timing (inaudible) pretty impeccable.

TRUMP: Well, I almost delayed this. You know, by the way, they said there were going to be 2,000 protesters. There turned out — we counted them — 43. Forty-three, and they're way over there. The police did a great job, but there were — it was nothing much to do, frankly.

There were 43, just on the record, because we heard there were going to be thousands of protesters — 43. And my members are very happy with Donald Trump, I can tell you. Is that a correct statement? They love Donald Trump.

QUESTION: Mr. Trump...

TRUMP: So — no, and they love what we've done here. And you know, this is a little bit what we're going to do to the United States. You know, the United States has rotted infrastructure, we have roads that are crumbling.

I have a friend who's a trucker, a big trucker, one of the biggest in the world, actually. And he said, he buys these brand-new, magnificent trucks that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he's never had this problem before. They're just getting destroyed, because the highways are loaded up with potholes.

And when you have an 18-wheeler or 16-wheeler, and you have big, massive trucks, and they're being — you know, going down a highway at 65 miles an hour, and they hit a pothole and they are loaded up with tons of stuff, he said those trucks, no matter how good they are, they get wiped out.

And that's what's happening to our country. And I thin this is sort of a mini example, what we've done here. The members love us, Scotland loves us for what we've done. The council — our council member here, do we have council members here?

Yes. The council has been so incredible and you know, it has just been a big love fest. What we do is, the United States needs its infrastructure fixed. You know, the bridges are a disaster. The roads are a disaster.

TRUMP: My friend told me. He said, he's never had a problem like this before. He said, you go down the highways in a brand-new truck that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars is virtually it's destroyed. They have to bring it back and have it rehauled, because they're hitting potholes all over the place on highways. Our infrastructure is crumbling in the United States.

And we spent probably, if you add it up now, $4 trillion, maybe more than in the Middle East, and we have a problem.

QUESTION: The country's not a golf course.

TRUMP: It's not.