TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND — Yesterday the United Kingdom voted, 52% to 48%, to leave the European Union. It’s the most significant vote that the UK has taken since the end of World War II. A large share of the credit for the victory of the “Leave” campaign goes to Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party.
Farage has been described by fellow UKIP member Patrick O’Flynn as “snarling, thin-skinned, and aggressive,” and he hates trade unions. Like Donald Trump, Farage often, when giving speeches, appears to seasoned observers on the political front to go apoplectic.
A few days ago, Trump was asked for his opinion on the Brexit campaign, and in a typically ill-informed statement, said that if the Brits want to leave the EU, that would be okay with him. In April, President Obama, at the invitation of Prime Minister David Cameron, urged Britons to stay in the EU.
And today, after viewing the resounding thrashing which the UK’s David Cameron took as the “Remain" campaign went down, Trump exulted that the UK, by voting to Leave, is “Making The UK Great Again.” Trump blamed Obama and Hillary Clinton for Cameron’s defeat.
At dawn here in Turnberry, a solitary reporter spotted Nigel Farage entering a windswept cottage here on the southwest coast of Scotland, where Trump owns a golf course.
Here at AP, we keep dreaming up names of people who show up on Trump’s short list as his running mate. Our list has included Sarah Palin, Joe Arpaio, and Silvio Berlusconi, as well as Norbert Hofer, the leader of Austria’s Freedom Party. (Hofer vigorously campaigned for president of Austria on an anti-immigrant platform and lost in a very close election in April to Alexander Van der Bellen, the spokesman for Austria’s Green Party.)
The solitary reporter asked Farage as he left his meeting with Trump whether the mega-billionaire had asked him to join his ticket as his running mate. Farage’s curt answer was “Yes, we did discuss that, as the bloke has no foreign policy chops. I could definitely help him with that, as I’ve spent a great deal of time in Europe in the European Parliament fighting the Europeans; I know all their soft spots.” But Farage declined to tell the solitary reporter whether Trump actually offered him the vice presidency. “There are dozens of American pols who want that job a lot more than I do — like Sarah Palin,” he said.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her brother, Eric, who are with the presumptuous GOP presidential candidate here in Turnberry, will, as soon as they return to Trump Tower, continue their efforts to get Paul Ryan expelled from the House for being too close to Mr. Obama.
Our associate solitary reporter, John Jones, interviewed PM Cameron to gain further insight into Cameron’s decision to step down in the wake of the Brexit vote. Cameron told Jones that he has been hired by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to advise her on how to keep Germany in the EU, lest angry German voters follow the Brits who voted to Leave. “I know full well,” Cameron said, "that Vladimir Putin would love to invade East Germany — where he was a spy for the KGB many years ago — and bring it back into Putinia. I will be relentlessly opposing Putin’s machinations at every turn."