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Trump complains of immigration's impact on European 'culture'

When Trump talks about immigration, he usually claims that his concern is about illegal immigration. But once in a while, he abandons the pretense.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference after a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium,...

A few months ago, during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the White House, Donald Trump was reportedly critical of British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. When the Washington Post asked about the American president's comments, Trump said in a statement that "immigration is destroying Europe as we know it and it is very sad to be witness to what is happening."

Not surprisingly, the Republican's comments prompted speculation about a possible racial subtext. In his highly controversial interview with The Sun, a British tabloid, Trump was even less subtle.

Trump also spoke on immigration policy in the interview, saying that Europe was losing its identity and culture because of an influx of migrants."Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame," Trump said. "I think it changed the fabric of Europe. And unless you act very quickly it's never going to be what it was and I don't mean that in a positive way. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come in to Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture."

When the American president talks about immigration, he tends to maintain a specific pretense: the concern is about illegal immigration, Trump says.

But once in a while, he abandons the pretense and offers a more candid assessment.

Update: At his press conference alongside British Prime Minister Theresa May this morning, Trump shared some related thoughts, saying, in reference to immigration, "I just think it's changing the culture. I think it's a very negative thing for Europe. I think it's very negative.... 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 a lot of things. You're changing security. You're changing -- look at what's happening. I mean, you take a look. I mean, look at what's happening to different countries that never had difficulty, never had problems.... I do not think it’s good for Europe and I don’t think it’s good for our country."