Antrim council candidate says 'execute immigrants' remarks were 'tongue in cheek'
A COUNCIL election candidate who wrote online that he would "apply for the job as executioner" if Donald Trump began killing immigrants has said his remarks were "tongue in cheek".
Si Harvey, of the Democrats and Veterans Party, had also posted on Facebook that "in a funny way" he would describe as a "legend" both the US president and Adolf Hitler.
The Mid and East Antrim council candidate yesterday said his comments were meant to be a "bit of a joke" as part of "sticking up for Donald Trump".
He denied being racist, insisting he does not support Hitler and while he believes immigration should be curbed, his execution remarks were "a wind-up".
Mr Harvey's old Facebook comments resurfaced after he was confirmed as a candidate for Carrick Castle in next month's elections.
He was responding to a post about a German magazine which depicted Mr Trump draped in a US flag and giving a Nazi salute.
"F*****g legend," Mr Harvey wrote.
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Another Facebook user asked him whether he meant Hitler or Mr Trump, to which he replied: "In a funny way both."
He was then asked whether he would "still support Trump if immigrant executions start".
Mr Harvey responded: "100 per cent. I'd apply for the job as executioner".
"You're a piece of garbage," the other Facebook user replied.
Asked yesterday about the exchange, Mr Harvey said it was "ridiculous to compare Hitler with Trump" and his comments were intended "to wind people up".
"All I was doing was sticking up for Donald Trump," the Brexit-backing candidate said.
"I would 100 per cent support Donald Trump. I think he has done an unbelievably fantastic job in America."
On his immigration comments, he said: "Again, tongue in cheek – a wind-up. Obviously it's not going to happen anyway because it wouldn't come to executions."
"If you're asking if I'm a racist, I'm not," he added.
Regarding Hitler, he said: "I hate him – he's awful. I'm a veteran – why would I want to support Hitler?"