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Ireland’s gay leader admits to liking Trump, but queries ‘homophobic’ Putin

Ireland’s gay leader admits to liking Trump, but queries ‘homophobic’ Putin

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s gay leader, has shared how he views leaders of two of the world’s most powerful nations.

The Irish prime minister, or Taoiseach, said US President, Donald Trump, is more ‘personable’ than he thought he would be. But he wants to challenge Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, over his discrimination of LGBTI people.

A placard protesting the crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia - at a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, 2017
A placard protesting the crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia – at a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, 2017 (Photo: David Hudson)

Varadkar wants to question Putin about treatment of LGBTIs in Russia

Varadkar made the comments in a wide-ranging Christmas interview with the Irish Independent newspaper, saying he would like to confront Putin over his homophobia. ‘I want to challenge him [Putin] about it, and really ask him why he thinks these policies make Russia stronger, make Russia greater’, Varadkar said.

‘He is clearly someone who is the strongman, who wants to make his country powerful in the world again. I obviously don’t agree with how he is going about that.

‘But I would be curious to explore with him why he thinks that discrimination against gay people is the way to make Russia wealthier or more successful or more prestigious in the world because that is definitely his world’, he told the Irish newspaper.

Donald Trump is ‘very tall’ and likeable

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump. | Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Varadkar said of much criticised US President Trump that he on the other hand was very friendly and likeable.

‘He is definitely more personable than I thought. A very tall man, for a start, and very friendly, which I didn’t necessarily expect. But apart from that, he is the guy you see on TV.’

Varadkar also said he plans to try to sway the US President’s negative view of the European Union, when he visits the US in March next year.

The Irish leader also had seasonally kind words for Hillary Clinton, who ran against Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election.

‘I think, like a lot of people, like most people, you form your opinions of politicians and public figures from the media,’ he said. ‘So I kind of bought into that idea that she was – you know – cold and all the rest of it. She’s not. She’s extremely warm.’

Varadkar, who is one of a handful of gay leaders on the global stage, said he was spending Christmas with boyfriend Matt. The paper reported they will be staying with his boyfriend’s parents, who live in Cork. However, all talk of politics will be avoided.

‘They’re good like that. They don’t talk about work too much,’ he said.. ‘His (Matt’s) dad is very much into football. So we will probably talk about that, I imagine.’

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