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Enda Kenny says he 'doesn't have to answer to Nigel Farage'

The former Ukip leader thinks the Taoiseach should apologise to Donald Trump.

Updated 9.50pm

With reporting from Christina Finn in Washington DC

ENDA KENNY HAS said he doesn’t have to “answer to” Nigel Farage.

The Taoiseach was responding to the MEP and former Ukip leader saying he should apologise to Donald Trump for previously saying remarks by the then US presidential candidate were “racist and dangerous”.

Kenny made the comments in May, in the midst of a very divisive election campaign in the US.

Speaking to reporters in Washington DC today, Kenny told reporters he didn’t call Trump a racist.

Can’t watch the video? Click here.

“I did not refer to the person, the now president, as being racist. My comment was in respect of his language…

“Language and words can be used by people in many regards. My comments was when he was running as a candidate in respect of the election to be held.

“I’m not into English classes. The language that was used on that occasion was in my view not that language that I would use but it was not related to his personality.”

In terms of Farage, he said:

I haven’t come to America to answer to Nigel Farage. I am proud and privileged to be the leader of the Irish government.

“I’m responding to an invitation sent by the president of the United States and I’m happy to go to the White House to continue the traditional connection between Ireland and the United States, symbolising the contribution Irish people have made over many centuries and the fact that we want to continue with that.

“I’ve nothing further to say in respect of comments made by Mr Farage.”

‘Vile things’ 

Earlier, Farage told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke he hopes the first thing the Taoiseach does during his meeting with the US President is “to apologise to Donald Trump for saying vile things about him consistently during the campaign”.

Farage said that might be a good start because “Trump won’t have forgotten that”.

Sunday Politics Yui Mok / PA Images Nigel Farage Yui Mok / PA Images / PA Images

He said “how much more insulting can you be than to call someone racist” adding, “I think he needs to apologise.”

In May of last year, Kenny was asked about some of the then-presidential candidate Trump’s comments. Speaking in the Dáil, Kenny described his rhetoric as both “racist and dangerous”:

If Donald Trump’s comments are racist and dangerous – which they are – there is an alternative to vote for.

Kenny was then asked if he regretted making such comments about the man who will soon become the next president of America.

I don’t. I made my comment in the Dáil on comments that had been made by the then candidate.

He said maybe Trump will “let bygones be bygones” but he believes Enda Kenny is “wasting his time” trying to sell President Trump “the idea of independent sovereign states like Ireland giving away their ability to make their own laws to Juncker”.

Farage went on to say that Ireland, Germany, France and all other EU member states aren’t sovereign nations because their laws and regulations are overruled by those of the EU.

Sturgeon and May

Commonwealth Day 2017 Ben Stansall / PA Images Ben Stansall / PA Images / PA Images

Farage reiterated comments he made yesterday, saying he’s “frustrated” at the pace of triggering Article 50 to begin Britain’s exit from the EU.

He said he doesn’t think the British Government realises the strength of its position and isn’t being “bold enough”.

He said the UK is now “the biggest export market in the world for the Eurozone” and he said the EU “needs free market access to us even more than we need it the other way around”.

On Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a Scottish independence referendum, he said if he was Prime Minister Theresa May he would say, ‘”Yeah go on, have that referendum, call her bluff, get her to lose heavily and that would be the end of Scottish nationalism for many decades to come.”

Farage is a friend of Trump, and was one of the first people to meet him after the election, flying to the US and taking the famous photo in the gold elevator with the 45th President of the United States.

With reporting by Órla Ryan’s political reporter Christina Finn will be bringing you all the latest updates from Enda Kenny’s visit to Washington this week, including his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

Stay up-to-date by following @ChristinaFinn8@TJ_Politics and’s Facebook page

Read: ‘A full gestation and still no delivery’: When will Article 50 be triggered?

Read: Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for a second Scottish independence referendum

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