Donald Trump did not claim credit for the victory of the Leave campaign. But he almost did.
Flying into Scotland – officially to check up on the progress being made at two golf resorts he owns – the presumptive Republican nominee claimed the EU vote meant the people of Britain had taken “back their country”.
“They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, nobody even knows who they are,” said Mr Trump at the ceremony to mark the reopening of a golf resort he owns on Scotland’s west coast. “They’re angry about many, many things.”
Mr Trump said he was pleased by the result – an outcome that he had hoped for. Asked whether he felt his campaign in the US had influenced the outcome, he struck a coy pose.
“Good question,” he said, saying that he would not take credit. “I gave my opinion over the last few months but its not about me. It’s about them. I think they will be stronger for it.”
Yet it appeared that the 70-year-old New York tycoon was struggling to remain modest for too long. While he claimed that he had told people in the UK to vote as they wanted and should ignore his personal opinion, he said there were similarities to what had happened in the US, where he defeated 15 Republican rivals.
“It’s happening in many other places. They are taking their countries back. I thought it would happen,” he said. “You let in the people you want to, you don’t let in those you don’t want.”
He added: “So I think you’re going to have this happen more and more. I really believe that and I think that it’s happening in the United States. It’s happening by the fact that I’ve done so well in the polls.”
Earlier, Mr Trump’s campaign clearly linked the result to his own successes in the US. “Come November, the American people will have a chance to re-declare their independence,” his campaign said in a statement.
Mr Trump also claimed that Barack Obama’s intervention in the debate – the US President travelled to the UK where he said he felt Britain should remain in the EU – had a negative impact.
“I was so surprised that Obama would be so bold as to tell the people here what to do,” he said. “If he had not said it, the result might have been different.”
He also said that David Cameron – who had spoken out over Mr Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims – had misjudged the public mood. “He has had a couple of rough decisions,” said Mr Trump. “But he is a good man.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies