Brexit mastermind tells Trump to avoid Clinton catfight

Elizabeth Dexheimer

Nigel Farage, who helped lead the campaign for the U.K. to leave the European Union, has some advice for Donald Trump ahead of the next U.S. presidential debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Don’t let her get under your skin,” Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” that’s scheduled to air Sunday. “Whatever abuse she throws at you, ignore her. Don’t defend yourself. There’s no point. There isn’t time."

The first presidential debate of 2016 on Sept. 27 saw both candidates go on the attack from the start. One moment that has prompted extended backlash from Trump was when Clinton, looking to hit the Republican on his attitude toward women, mentioned former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

Clinton said Trump, 70, who formerly owned the pageant organization, called the Venezuelan “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight during her reign, and “Miss Housekeeping” because she is Latina. Since then, Trump has tried to defend the way he treated Machado and has sought to discredit her in interviews and in an series of pre-dawn tweets on Friday.

“What you’ve got to do, Donald, is talk to people sitting at home in their living rooms," said Farage, who’ll be one of Trump’s guests at the next debate, scheduled for Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9. “Don’t get involved in a catfight with Hillary.”

Farage’s Brexit movement and Trump’s rise in U.S. politics have both been fueled by older, working-class white voters spurred by nationalism, nostalgia, and economic dislocation. Trump has said that he sees parallels between his campaign and Brexit, and has at times dubbed himself “Mr Brexit.”

“Trump is part of a phenomenon that is now beginning to sweep the Western world," Farage said in a transcript provided by the network. “Simply, people want change."

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in Washington at