Clinton campaign hits Trump for seeing Brexit as boon to his business

WASHINGTON Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign accused Donald Trump on Sunday of caring more about how Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union would benefit his financial bottom line than how it would impact the U.S. economy.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged parallels between the populist anger and anti-establishment fervor that fueled the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise to the nomination, but said the Republican candidate’s reaction showed he was not fit to occupy the White House.

“Hillary Clinton looks at this through the lens of how it’s going to affect middle-class families, Donald Trump through the lens of how it will help his bottom line,” Mook said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In a national television ad released on Sunday, the Clinton campaign featured the wealthy real estate developer’s comments on Friday that the fall of the British currency after the Brexit vote could mean more business for his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, where he was speaking.

“Every president is tested by world events, but Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them,” said the 30-second ad.

Besides his currency comments, Trump had praised the Brexit result as an example of people “taking their country back.” He responded to the advertisement on Sunday by saying Clinton, whose staff had said she supported the United Kingdom remaining in the union, had poor judgment.

“Clinton is trying to wash away her bad judgment call on BREXIT with big dollar ads,” ran a message on his Twitter account. “Disgraceful!”

Paul Manafort, campaign manager for Trump, rejected what he called a “phony” charge by Clinton and said Trump was more in sync with the global economic frustration exemplified by the Brexit vote. In contrast, the Clinton ad showed her campaign’s “tone deafness” by focusing on things the American people did not care about, he said in an NBC interview.


Global stock markets nosedived on Friday and economic experts warned of a potential global recession after the shocking British vote to pull out of the European Union. Markets prepared for the possibility of more pain on Monday.

The unexpected outcome quickly reverberated through the Nov. 8 race for the White House on Friday. Trump called Brexit a model for his insurgent campaign while Clinton said the uncertainty underscores the need for “calm, steady, experienced leadership.”

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Brexit vote highlighted global anxieties about economic stagnation and immigration.

“The genius of what’s happened with the candidacy of Donald Trump is he’s given voice to that, just as was given in the UK,” Corker, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

He said he thought Trump’s appearance at his golf course in Scotland after the Brexit vote “was one of his best events” and his comments about the British currency and what it would mean for his businesses were just “an anecdotal statement” about its effects.

“He was giving an example, which is obvious, that when the currency fluctuates, as it does, more Americans are going to be able to travel to the UK more cheaply,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the Brexit vote showed people were tired of being dictated to by “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels,” and said there were parallels in the United States.

“You see the same thing here,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week. “We have had a regulatory rampage over the last six years.”

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who built his White House campaign against Clinton around populist proposals to eradicate income inequality, remove big money from politics and rein in Wall Street, said the Brexit vote encapsulated many of those concerns.

“What ordinary people are saying is ‘hey, give us an economy that works for all of us, not just the people on top,’ and I think that is to a significant degree what this Brexit vote was about,” Sanders said on CNN.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Julia Harte; Editing by Mary Milliken and Sandra Maler)

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