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Photograph: EPA/JUSTIN LANE

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump said that Britain would be "better off" outside the European Union during an interview with broadcaster Fox News late Thursday, seven weeks before a British referendum on EU membership.

Trump, who became the Republican Party's presumptive nominee after his competitors dropped out of the race, claimed that the EU is partly to blame for the current migration crisis.

"I think that migration has been a horrible thing for Europe. A lot of that was pushed by the EU. I would say that [the British] are better off without it," Trump said.

However, he added that he did not want to make "a recommendation," saying this was "just my feeling."

"I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well, I have a lot of investments there," Trump said.

Trump's comments come two weeks after President Barack Obama warned Britain to stay in the bloc or risk going to "the back of the queue" for negotiating a bilateral trade deal with the United States, as Washington would prioritize an agreement with the EU.

"If one of our best friends is in an organization that enhances their power, enhances their economy ... I want them to stay in it," Obama had told reporters at a joint press conference in London after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is campaigning to remain in the EU.

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