Taoiseach does not regret calling Donald Trump "racist and dangerous"

Mr Kenny said he has since spoken with President-elect Trump

Taoiseach does not regret calling Donald Trump "racist and dangerous"

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaks to the media in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stated that he does not regret comments he made earlier this year about President-elect Donald Trump. 

Referring to comments made by the President-elect about immigration and the Middle East while on the campaign trail, the Taoiseach stated that the remarks were "racist and dangerous" and that there was an alternative candidate to vote for in place of Mr Trump. 

Mr. Kenny stated that he did not regret the remarks now that Mr Trump had been elected, and that the President-elect's comments were made "in the heat of battle" of an "unedifying" campaign.

When asked if he regretted his remarks, Mr. Kenny said: "I don't. I made my comment in the Dáil on comments that had been made by the then candidate," the Taoiseach added. "Obviously, I’ve since spoken to the president-elect, now confirmed to be the next president, and we’ve agreed that Ireland will continue to work closely with the new incoming administration and the US."

Mr Kenny also highlighted the rise of far-right parties around Europe, noting that while it was a source of concern, voters also still had confidence in those providing viable alternatives to those ideologies. 

Referencing elections in Spain, Italy, Austria and France, the Taoiseach stated that the turn to the right and populism was a challenge, but that well-managed economies presented the best path.

"For me, the best opportunity is to have people follow their own careers, and realise they have a well managed economy that provides them with the opportunity to have careers and jobs," Mr Kenny said.

"And you cannot have a situation where in some countries you have a 50 per cent unemployment rate among its population. That is a recipe for disaster."