NEW YORK -- Donald Trump responded to a petition demanding his prohibition from the UK on Wednesday, accusing British politicians of "pandering to political correctness." The Republican presidential candidate caused uproar on Monday by suggesting America respond to the threat from the Islamic State by banning all Muslims from entering the Republic.
In recent days, British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson condemned Trump, with Johnson particularly vociferous in accusing the rambunctious billionaire of being "out of his mind" and displaying "stupefying ignorance." The mayor did, however, reject the notion of banning Trump from entering the UK, instead inviting him to visit the capital to disprove his assertion that London suffers from un-policed areas because of a Muslim threat.
The petition, entitled, ‘Block Donald J Donald Trump From UK Entry,' has garnered more than 350,000 signatories, and will therefore be considered for a debate in the Commons.
On Wednesday evening, Trump’s campaign issued a statement responding to the petition, chirping stock slogans from his campaign, while noting his “significant investment” in the UK via the redevelopment of Scottish golf courses. "The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness,” he scoffed, noting an article that appeared in the Daily Mail on Wednesday in which a London police officer agreed with Trump's “fears of terrorism."
“I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me,” the belligerent tycoon added. "I will work very hard and effectively to defeat terrorism."
Below is Trump’s statement in full:
I have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world. Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry Resort, which will have massive ballrooms, complete room refurbishments, a new golf course and a total rebuilding of the world famous Ailsa course to the highest standards and specifications of the Royal & Ancient. If they were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million development, which will totally revitalise that vast region of Scotland.
The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness. In fact, in an article out today, many police officers in London have come forward to confirm their fears of terrorism. I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me. I will work very hard and effectively to defeat terrorism.
I have respect for the Muslim people and have great friendships with many Muslims, some of whom I do business with --- but they themselves admit there is a major problem with radicalisation. As President, I will work with Muslim representatives to determine a solution to eradicate the terrorism that has plagued the credibility of the Muslim community.
Furthermore, as the definitive front runner (with large leads in every poll) in the race to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States, and as the person leading in the polls head to head versus Hillary Clinton, my focus is to Make America Great Again!
Earlier on Wednesday, footage emerged showing Trump attending a fundraiser for Sinn Féin in New York months before the Provisional IRA launched a massive terror attack in London. The film, which threatens to mire the businessman in fresh controversy, shows Trump shaking hands with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Sinn Féin had for many decades enjoyed strong ties to the Irish republican movement’s military wing, the IRA.
Trump met Adams in November 1995 at an event organised by the US-based Friends of Sinn Féin. Four months later, the provisional IRA exploded a huge bomb in the Docklands area of the capital, killing two people.