Donald Trump, speaking to reporters at the reopening of his golf course in Scotland, had something to say about yesterday’s British vote to quit the European Union, the so-called Brexit:
I think it’s a great thing that’s happened. It’s an amazing vote, very historic.
Before going further, let’s take stock of the first day’s Brexit economic damage:
- Dow down 610 points, or 3.39 percent
- NASDAQ down 202 points, or 4.12 percent
- US banking stocks took a pounding (Morgan Stanley -10.15%, Citigroup -9.36%, Bank of America -7.41%)
- Japan’s Nikkei down 7.92 percent
- Germany’s DAX down 6.82 percent
- Moody’s downgraded the UK’s credit outlook from “stable” to “negative”
- Value of the British pound fell 11 percent to a 30-year low against the US dollar
- £40 billion was wiped off the bottom line of British banks, equivalent to about $55 billion
So in case you’re wondering, this financial catastrophe, the biggest since the global economic meltdown of 2008, is what Donald Trump was applauding when he congratulated UK voters for walking out of the European Union.
But Trump sees the collapse of Britain’s currency is nothing less than a personal windfall:
When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.
Of course Trump is not the only one lauding the United Kingdom’s voters for ditching the EU, and that’s the real point of this post. Let’s take a look at the company the presumptive GOP nominee for president is keeping.
European far right parties are fully on Trump’s side
- In France, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen hailed Brexit as a “Victory for Freedom.”
- In the Netherlands, far right anti-immigration leader Geert Wilders said, “I think it could also have huge consequences for the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Now it’s our turn.”
- In Germany, Beatrix von Storch, of the right wing populist Alternative für Deutschland party said, “The 23 June is a historic day. It is Great Britain’s independence day.”
- In Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, Europe’s most violent right wing party, released this statement: “Golden Dawn welcomes the victory of the nationalist and patriotic forces in Great Britain against the European Union, which has been transformed into the doleful instrument of loan sharks.”
But that’s not all. On our side of the Atlantic, the racist right is also on the same page as Trump, responding to the UK vote with, as the Southern Poverty Law Center puts it, “euphoric delight”:
“This is VICTORY DAY, brothers,” Andrew Anglin, editor of the anti-Semitic website Daily Stormer wrote on Friday. “Nothing can stop us now. But the fact is, brothers: nothing ever could stop us. God and nature are on our side. The stars themselves declare our ULTIMATE VICTORY over the (((forces of darkness and evil))).” (The parentheses are a new online trope used by racist trolls to single out names and things they believe are Jewish.)
So that’s the company Donald Trump keeps. European fascists and neo-Nazis. American racists and anti-Semites.
And that’s the man Republicans are poised to nominate for president a month from now in Cleveland.