Donald Trump faced heavy criticism for noting that the United Kingdom’s momentous vote to leave the European Union would translate to more business for his new Scottish golf course. But in an interview Monday, his spokeswoman resorted to a classic conservative strategy to deflect attention: invoke Benghazi.
Asked on CNN’s “Legal View” to answer for Trump’s comments, spokeswoman Katrina Pierson denied that the presumptive GOP nominee’s response was “a tough thing to navigate.”
“Perhaps Mr. Trump could have gone out and blamed Brexit on a video that never existed and maybe the media would have been okay with that,” Pierson said. “He answered like a businessman.”
“When the attack on the consulate of Benghazi occurred, Hillary Clinton went out and lied to the American public and blamed it on the video,” she added. “That is something that was very serious.”
Pierson was referring to a YouTube video mocking Islam that sparked protests around the Middle East in the days before the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton has denied claiming that the attack was spontaneously sparked by the video, but some family members of those killed say that was what she told them in private.
CNN host Ashleigh Banfield cut in to ask Pierson what the video had to do with Trump celebrating how a weak pound could mean more tourists visiting his Turnberry golf course.
“Mr. Trump answered question as a businessman,” Pierson deflected. “He talked about Scotland as a whole. It is true. Scotland will see some business.”
Banfield said that as a presidential candidate, “you have to represent the people of America, not just your business.”
Pierson countered that Trump was in Scotland on the day of the Brexit vote to “support his family” and that it just happened to occur on the day that U.K. voters decided they were “tired of globalism.”