Donald Trump, the frontrunner Republican presidential primaries for the 2016 US election, has called Brussels a “hellhole”, unleashing a tsunami of ironic comments by residents of the EU’s capital in social media.
Having already offended Paris and London by saying that some of their neighbourhoods were so overrun with Muslim radicals that the police were too scared to enter, this time Trump picked on the city of Brussels.
In a comment on Fox News on 26 January, Trump said: “You go to Brussels. I was in Brussels a long time ago – 20 years ago – so beautiful, everything’s so beautiful. It’s like living in a hellhole right now.”
The remark prompted a wave of ironic Twitter postings, with many Brussels residents using the #hellhole hashtag alongside beautiful views of the Belgian capital’s ancient streets and parks, or of its renowned cuisine and artisan beer.
Trump recently stirred global outrage with his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, comparing his plan to the World War Two imprisonment of Japanese-Americans in an attempt to dismiss growing outrage from around the world.