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First Read: Trump Takes a Surreal Victory Lap in Scotland

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Donald Trump shakes hands with a supporter after getting off his helicopter at Turnberry Golf course
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with a supporter after getting off his helicopter at Turnberry Golf course in Turnberry, Scotland., June 24, 2016.Carlo Allegri / Reuters

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.

Trump takes surreal victory lap in Scotland

In what has to be one of the more surreal press conferences in U.S. presidential-campaign history, Donald Trump praised the British vote to leave the European Union in a place -- Scotland -- that overwhelmingly voted to remain; he said the falling British pound would be good for business; and he touted the opening of his new golf course in Scotland. “I love to see people to take their country back,” he said. Referring to Brexit backers’ opposition to immigration, Trump added that “people who you don’t want … you are not going to have take.” He said that Britain’s declining currency was good for business, including at his new golf course. “If the pound goes down, they’re going to do more business.” But before he answered reporters’ questions, Trump trumpeted the opening of his new golf course in Turnberry, Scotland. As the BBC’s Katty Kay remarked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” it was stunning Trump would make a pitch for Trump industries on a day like today, when global markets are reeling and much of Britain (and Europe) is in shock. One of Hillary Clinton’s greatest weaknesses is the perception that she has used her political standing to make money. But Trump overshadows that when he takes his presidential campaign to Scotland -- the day after the Brexit vote -- to christen a new resort/golf course and talk about how a falling currency is good for business.

Trump criticizes Obama, Clinton on foreign soil

Trump made additional news in his press conference by criticizing Hillary Clinton and President Obama -- on foreign soil -- for their support for Britain to remain in the European Union. Per NBC’s Ali Vitali, “Repeatedly, Trump said that Obama shouldn’t have told people in the UK how to vote on Brexit -- at one point calling it ‘inappropriate’ and even saying that ‘perhaps’ Obama’s recommendation caused the vote to go the opposite way of what Obama advocated. ‘If he had not said it, I think your result might have been different,’ Trump wondered aloud. It is notable … that Trump was so critical of Obama while overseas.”

Consequences of the Brexit vote and the worldwide middle-class revolt

The consequences of Britain leaving the European Union are profound. Consider:

  • Global markets are falling;
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron is resigning;
  • Right-wing politicians in France and the Netherlands are calling to leave the EU;
  • Scotland, which overwhelmingly voted to remain, is calling for a second vote of independence;
  • And it’s all cementing Germany’s status (not Britain’s) as America’s special partner in Europe.

But there is one more important consequence: Worldwide, we are seeing an angry middle class revolting at political elites and institutions. And so much of the anger is being fueled by immigration. In this respect, it reinforces Trump’s worldview and overall campaign argument. One more important point: Every action (or inaction) has a reaction, and the United States’ and world’s decision not to intervene in Syria has reverberated in Britain and Europe.

Sanders says he will vote for Hillary Clinton

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Bernie Sanders said that he would vote for Hillary Clinton to help defeat Donald Trump, but said he was still campaigning to ensure that the Democratic platform at the convention is the most progressive possible. But his campaign spokesman later clarified to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts that Sanders’ announcement that he will vote for Clinton isn’t an endorsement. (Indeed, NBC’s Danny Freeman flags that while Sanders was on CBS, he said he hadn’t formally endorsed Clinton because “I haven’t heard her say the things that need to be said” -- like on tuition-free college.) At 1:00 pm ET, Sanders delivers a “Where Do We Go From Here” speech in Albany, NY, and then he holds a rally with a congressional candidate in Syracuse, NY at 6:00 pm ET.

Veepstakes Watch

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said that there are “no more than four” people on Trump’s shortlist and that they are all “household names.”… The New York Post theorizes that Christie might be Trump’s chief of staff… Christie said yesterday that he doesn’t know if he’s being vetted for the job… Scott Brown told radio host Alan Colmes on Wednesday that his gives Trump “counsel” regularly… And Rick Scott declined to endorse Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race, calling his primary opponent, Carlos Beruff, a “good friend.”… Insiders tell POLITICO that Tim Kaine is Clinton’s strongest choice for the job… Sherrod Brown has a 44/30 approval rating in Ohio… The Texas Tribune asks if Julian Castro has the experience to be VP… Castro said the Supreme Court’s ruling on immigration is “not definitive.”

On the trail

Trump is in Scotland, and Clinton is down. Don’t forget to check out the political unit’s rolling minute-to-minute coverage of all the latest 2016 developments at the On the Trail liveblog at