Farage gets flak for Trump 'silverback gorilla' comment

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, right, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump  during the second presidential debate. Photo / AP
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, right, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate. Photo / AP

A comment by British politician Nigel Farage after the second US presidential debate has been greeted with disbelief on social media.

Yesterday's debate had much of the world watching in awe and dismay at the spectacle of US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading intensely personal barbs on the stage.

Still, Farage was happy to claim Trump's performance as a great success. The UK's Brexit poster boy and avid fanboy of the real estate mogul was won over by Trump's talk of a border wall and Muslim ban.

Farage unleashed a stream of video clips on his Twitter feed lauding Trump's debate performance and even likening him to a "big silverback gorilla, prowling the studio".

He said: "He looked like a big gorilla prowling the set and he is that big alpha male - that's what he is, that's what he is."

Farage added: "He dominated her".

‏@Lib_Librarian tweeted: Dear @Nigel_Farage: Please go back to your UK rock, slither under, and let us deal with our own fascists. #debate


@jamesrbuk added: Nigel Farage Defended Donald Trump By Calling Him A "Silverback Gorilla" Because 2016 Just Keeps Happening

Soon after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Farage relinquished his post as head of the UK Independence Party, but he still relishes his role as a thorn in the side of the "political establishment," both at home and abroad.

Ahead of the debate in St Louis this week, he tried to lend Trump some insight from Brexit's unexpected success, tweeting out support to the GOP candidate who came under fire earlier at the weekend after the publication of a 2005 recording where he lewdly described his apparent history of sexual assault.

Farage's advice? Ignore personal attacks and focus on a plan for strong border control - a key pillar of the Brexit campaign was whipping up xenophobic fears.

And Trump's leaked comments about forcing himself on women didn't seem to bother Farage in the least. "You know what, he's not running to be Pope," he told Fox News.

Farage's comments on the tape, including that Trump's remarks are "the kind of thing men do", didn't go down well on Twitter, either.

@LailaLalami tweeted: A simple test. Imagine Donald Trump was black and/or Muslim and said those things. Would Giuliani, Hannity, Farage, defend it as "guy talk"?

@Prof_Marciniak said: Farage "a lot of people do talk like that". Perhaps, but they shouldn't be president.

And @Mumbler3 tweeted: You're told as a kid to be a decent, generous, polite person. Then as an adult you find that Trump, Philip Green and Farage are 'successes'.

After the debates, Farage could be found making the rounds with reporters, propping up his preferred "gorilla" candidate.

He told Fox News: "Frankly, I thought he dominated the debates. So much so, that Hillary Clinton never really got going tonight at all."

After all, he argued, Trump should be cut a bit of slack for his widely panned first debate performance. As a newly minted 70-year-old politician, this was his first rodeo.

"I've been there myself. I remember my first big debate," Farage offered. "How nervous I felt, how out of my depth I felt."

This time he found Trump comfortable with the cameras. "He knew his subject, and he was even funny - he even got a laugh," he said. Farage offered no analysis on Trump's strategy of looming over Clinton while she interacted with audience members, but concluded that Trump had overall left a good impression as "the kind of guy that could be in charge".

As for those who had doubted Trump - such as the growing number of Republican politicians who disavowed him in the wake of the vulgar leaked comments - Farage gingerly suggested they might "be feeling a little bit silly" now.

- Washington Post

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