Here's What World Leaders Say About Donald Trump
When real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced in June that he was a Republican candidate for president, some laughed it off. Well, no one’s laughing any more.
On Tuesday, he scored a decisive win in the Nevada caucuses.With his first-place showings in both New Hampshire and South Carolina, he also now has both momentum and history on his side. No candidate who has won both the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries has ever lost the nomination, according to The Hill. Polls show him ahead in at least eight states voting within the next week.
Despite his popularity with a large segment of Republican voters, Trump still faces plenty of opposition. Most notably from many world leaders, who have gone on record to oppose him — especially for his proposal to ban Muslims from the United States.
Fortune takes a look at what some of these people have had to say about Trump. (Donald Trump didn’t immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment. Fortune will update this post if he or his campaign respond.)
Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud
Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud is a member of the Saudi royal family. In December, he tweeted his disapproval.
In January, Trump went on Twitter and posted a clearly photoshopped picture of the Saudi mogul alongside Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and a woman whose identity was obscured by a niqab, but whom the tweet identified as bin Talal’s sister. (The Saudi billionaire is also an investor in 21st Century Fox, Inc., the parent company of Fox News.)
Bin Talal responded with a tweet of his own, which noted that he had come to Trump’s financial rescue in the 1990s, not once, but twice. The first time was in 1991, when he bought a yacht Trump had put up for sale, and the second was in 1995, when he bought a stake in Trump’s Plaza Hotel.
“Trump: You base your statements on photoshopped pics?,” the tweet read. “I bailed you out twice;a 3rd time,maybe?”
When asked for a response by the Daily Mail, Trump reportedly denied having been bailed out by him. Then he added, “Never liked him. Never met him.”
Mexico has been the subject of harsh criticism by candidate Trump. Indeed, he laid out those criticisms in the June speech in which he first announced his candidacy.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
He has proposed not only building a wall between the two nations, but making Mexico pay for it.
Former Mexican president Felipe Calderón, not surprisingly, said the country wouldn’t “pay any single cent for such a stupid wall.” He also called Trump a “not very well informed man…If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade [or] for people is going to provide prosperity to the United State, he is completely crazy.”
Trump seem unfazed. In an interview, he said after heard his comments, he thought: “Now the wall just got taller.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron is another world leader who has criticized Trump for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong,” Cameron said, though he opposed the petition to have Trump banned from Britain. “I think if he came to visit our country he’d unite us all against him.”
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
After Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said it would be difficult for a President Trump to have successful relations with other countries were he to continue using this type of rhetoric.
“A successful politician would not make such statement, as there are millions of Muslims living in the U.S,” Erdoğan said. “I don’t know whether or not he’ll win, but let’s suppose he won. What will happen? Will he set aside all relationships with Muslim countries? A politician shouldn’t talk like this.”
Ever since being elected to the papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has been hailed for his leadership and commitment to reforming one of Catholic Church bureaucracy. However, on February 18, while aboard the papal airliner, Francis was asked about candidate Trump’s rhetoric regarding Mexican immigrants, and His Eminence was only too happy to give his opinion.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said. Trump responded the very same day.
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” he said, then warned that ISIS was eager to attack the Vatican. “If and when the Vatican is attacked, the Pope would only wish and have prayed that Donald Trump would have been elected president,” the candidate said.
After the mass shooting in San Bernadino, Trump took to MSNBC, where he said, “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that police are afraid for their own lives.” London Mayor Boris Johnson begged to differ.
“Donald Trump’s ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense,” he said. “Crime has been falling steadily in both London and New York — and the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
After the attack in San Bernardino, California, Trump called for a temporary, but “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim immigration into the United States. Many world leaders weighed in on Trump’s statement, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who denounced Trump’s call for a temporary ban.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” his office said in a statement. “The state of Israel respects all religion and strictly adheres to the rights of all its citizens.”
After the statement, Trump cancelled a planned trip to Israel, saying he didn’t want to put Netanyahu “under pressure.”
France’s prime minister Manuel Valls tweeted his own disapproval of Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration.
That tweet translates to: “Mr. Trump, like others, stokes hatred: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism.”
In response to such criticism, Trump compared his idea to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese during World War 11. “What I’m doing is no different than FDR,” he said.
President Obama has tangled with Trump on several occasions, such as when Trump questioned whether the President was born in the United States. On February 16, at a press conference in Rancho Mirage, California, the President predicted that despite all available polling and primary results, Trump would not be elected.
“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president,” Obama said. “It’s not hosting a talk show, or a reality show. It’s not promotion, it’s not marketing… It’s hard and a lot of people count on us getting it right.”
Trump shrugged off the comments, saying Obama couldn’t publicly say Trump could win.
Daniel Bukszpan is a New York-based freelance writer.