President Donald Trump claimed Friday immigration has changed the United Kingdom and Europe’s “culture” and added the continent “better watch themselves” during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Trump made his comments beside the embattled May in Buckinghamshire during his first visit to the U.K., following his difficult meetings with NATO leaders.
“I think it’s very much hurt Germany. I think it’s very much hurt other parts of Europe. And I know it’s politically not necessarily correct to say that, but I’ll say it and I’ll say it loud. And I think they better watch themselves because you are changing culture, you are changing lots of things, you’re changing security…Look at what’s happening to different countries that never had difficulty, never had problems,” Trump said.
Trump continued: “It’s a very sad situation. It’s very unfortunate. But I do not think its good for Europe. And I don’t think its good for our country. We’re far superior to anything that’s happened before, but we have very bad immigration laws.”
Trump added that the U.S. is doing well, despite what he said were not even “laws” when it comes to immigrants coming into the country.
May responded quite differently, saying immigration has been “good” for the U.K.
The often wild press conference oscillated between Trump praising his performance and work during the NATO summit and lambasting previous administrations over their work with foreign leaders.
Trump made his comments on immigration as May deals with the complex process of removing the U.K. from the European Union, or Brexit, and following the high-profile exit of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis.
The president has often claimed illegal immigration has plagued the U.S. and accused immigrants from Mexico of being rapists and drug dealers.
His comments also came amid the Trump administration scrambling to reunite migrant children with their parents after illegal border crossings and a nationwide scandal over the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
Trump has been accused of prejudice against immigrants, while his administration has also faced criticism over separating children from their parents at the U.S.’s southern border.
Europe, including Germany and the U.K., have dealt with an influx of refugees as the war in Syria and other conflicts rage on with immigration critics challenging whether it was their responsibility to welcome immigrants.