Sunday 17 February 2019

Chamber President slams childish Trump

With their president hogging the international news, we ask some American-born Wexford residents for their assessment of Trump’s performance on the global stage

Jonathan Keenan, chairman, New Ross Chamber, at the recent 4th of July celebrations in New Ross
Jonathan Keenan, chairman, New Ross Chamber, at the recent 4th of July celebrations in New Ross

David Looby

The President of New Ross & District Chamber of Commerce Jonathan Keenan, a Buffalo, New York native, says he is glad he doesn't live in Donald Trump's America, adding that he wouldn't personally welcome him to the ancestral town of President John F Kennedy if he arrived here.

Describing President Trump's actions in Helsinki and on the international stage as 'ridiculous', Jonathan quoted American comedian Stephen Colbert who took aim at the president's advisers' 'embarrassment' at his words on stage beside Vladimir Putin, while keeping quiet when babies were kept in cages near the Mexico border.

Jonathan said his reaction was one of complete disbelief when Donald Trump triumphed over Hillary Clinton to claim the Presidency in November 2016.

He said: 'I did not vote for Trump. He has been worse than I imagined. I think his executive orders and what he is doing and what he has been allowed to do is more shocking than anyone thought.

'It's good to shake things up but he is a pawn. The president is a figurehead so I am surprised they let him do and say what he does.'

Taking aim at President Trump's Muslim travel ban, Jonathan said he was amazed it got traction in America's upper courts.

'He said his family weren't immigrants, but settlers in America. He is an idiot. America is a melting pot and for him to claim it's only for whites and middle class America is ridiculous. I am glad I don't live there.'

Jonathan moved to Ireland 12 years ago and is manager of Creacon Wellness Retreat and vice CEO of two international companies, SQ Worldwide and Erema Agni.

Jonathan said he is embarrassed to say he is American while Donald Trump is president.

'I can't control him. I am a bit embarrassed. I am proud to not be living in America now. I go back twice a year on average. Barack Obama was a gentleman but Donald Trump is an immature, childish, arrogant, ignorant, emotional man who is dangerous. He is president and leader of the free world and unfortunately people are going to follow his example.'

Citing the case of Marion Barry, the Washington DC Mayor who was caught smoking crack cocaine and still allowed back in the chains of office, Jonathan said it gave licence to people in Washington to think they could smoke crack and be successful.

'The paradime of leadership is not being followed. It's sad. Hopefully he won't get re-elected. To be honest I'm surprised he has lasted this long. Trump is a wake up call to Americans.'

He said President Trump has had some success, particularly in the Bull stock market, bolstering the profits of corporations.

'They are all in his pocket and he is looking after them. It's good to see he is looking after business but a president should be making decisions based on his adviser's advice.

'He is going against his advisers and Ivanka is avoiding Chinese embargoes somehow as all her stuff is made in China and so is Trump. His family are set to benefit from $1 billion in tax breaks during his presidency which is nuts.'

He said: 'I know people who are behind him who are living in Texas and southern California and I always say what about your housekeeper or lawn cutter, they are still illegal immigrants in Trump's America and my friends could end up cutting their own grass. I don't really watch the news. Trump is just ridiculous and it's just all fake, not fake news. I wouldn't welcome him to New Ross.'

Wexford People

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