'You are changing culture' - Trump and May trade comments on Europe immigration after Trump labels it 'a very negative thing'

President Donald Trump pressed ahead Friday (overnight NZT) with his complaints that European immigration policies are changing the "fabric of Europe" and destroying European culture.

During a news conference with British Prime Minster Theresa May, Trump backtracked on the criticism of May that he made in an explosive interview released as he began his visit to the country. But he reiterated his belief that Europe's decision to accept migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries is "a very negative thing for Europe."

Standing next to May at Chequers, the prime minister's official country estate, Trump acknowledged that his remarks were "politically not necessarily correct." But he said European countries need to "watch themselves."

"You are changing culture, you are changing a lot of things," he said, adding, "You see the same terror attacks that I do."

Trump was reiterating a position he articulated in an interview released Thursday (Yesterday NZT) by The Sun, in which he also criticized May's handling of Brexit negotiations and said "I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad."

May quickly rebutted Trump during their joint appearance, saying the UK has a "proud history of welcoming people who are fleeing persecution to our country."

"Over the years, overall immigration has been good for the UK," she added. "It's brought people with different backgrounds, different outlooks here to the UK and we've seen them contributing to our society and our economy."

Critics have faulted the president for using language that echoes white supremacist laments about the loss of white power.


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