The Government will not be afraid to raise disagreements with president-elect Donald Trump through “robust engagement” and would welcome him to Ireland, Leo Varadkar has said.
The Minister for Social Protection said he would confront Mr Trump on his views on immigration, women, and climate change.
However, he disagreed with Minister John Halligan who dubbed Mr Trump a “head-banger” and claimed he should not be welcomed here.
Mr Varadkar said shunning political leaders is not the right direction to take. “John is very outspoken and a very independent minister and he is entitled to his views. I profoundly disagree with what he said, I am not going to use that terminology. I don’t think they should be shunned, I don’t think they should be boycotted, I don’t think we should take away other people’s freedom of speech or right to tolerance, I think what we should do is engage with the administration.”
Speaking on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show, Mr Varadkar said the Government should be confident in its values and disagreements on Mr Trump’s policies.
He said he would like to invite US vice president-elect Mike Pence — who has previously taken up extreme anti-gay positions — to Ireland to tell him his own personal story.
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