Donald Trump has claimed that England is not a ‘safe place’ in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks.
The leading Republican Presidential candidate said that England was among the countries which have become ‘weak’ and cannot protect themselves.
Mr Trump said Europe had ‘very, very severe’ problems with terrorism and that it needed better law enforcement. The property mogul spoke out after saying that, were he to become President, he would make America’s allies pay for the ‘cloak of protection’ the US offers.
In his most detailed comments on foreign policy yet, the billionaire said that he was sick of America being ‘ripped off’ by its allies.
Mr Trump’s comments on Britain risk a backlash similar to that he received in December when he claimed that police in London were ‘afraid for their own lives’ because some areas of the capital are so radicalised. Speaking to ABC News, Mr Trump was asked it he would feel safe travelling to Europe after the Brussels attacks by IS terrorists, which left at least 31 dead and 340 injured. He said: ‘I don’t think America is a safe place for Americans, if you want to know the truth.
I don’t think Bruss – England or I don’t think that Europe is a safe place. No, I don’t. I think there are a lot of problems in Europe that are very, very severe.
‘But neither is the United States a safe place, because we’re allowing thousands of people to come in here. Nobody knows where they’re from. Nobody knows who they are and they’re coming in here by the thousands. And let me tell you something, we’re going to have problems just as big or bigger than they’ve got.’
In a separate interview with the New York Times over the weekend, Mr Trump outlined his foreign policy in depth for the first time.
He said that he would allow Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear deterrents even though it threatens to destabilise the entire Asian region and antagonise North Korea.
Mr Trump denied that his world view was isolationist and preferred to describe it as ‘America First’.
He did not mention Britain specifically but said that he was fed up with America being ‘taken advantage of’ on the world stage. The solution favoured by Mr Trump was to withdraw American support then negotiate a better deal before bringing it back.
He said that he would consider stopping buying oil from Saudi Arabia and other allies in the Middle East unless they committed ground troops to fight the Islamic State.
Another option would be for them to ‘substantially reimburse’ the US for its role fighting the terrorist group.
Kathleen Hicks, director of the international security program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said Mr Trump was wrong and that America helped other countries ‘for entirely selfish reasons’. She added: ‘Why do we have military bases in Asia? We have used military bases in Asia because we want to be able to deal with threats far from our shores rather than close to our shores.