"Deep concern" is needed over President Donald Trump who has "brought fascist appeal to the White House", a former US Governor and 2016 Presidential election candidate has claimed.

Martin O’Malley – a former Governor of Maryland and 2016 US presidential election candidate – told RTE’s ‘This Week’ programme in an exclusive interview that political institutions in the United States will be tested by Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We are going to see just how strong our political institutions are, now that we’ve seen two parties torn apart, and a third party take a fascist appeal right in to the White House,” Mr. O’Malley said.

“Our greatness lies on our ability to correct our mistakes and now we have a big one to correct,” Mr O’Malley added.  

Mr O’Malley also told This Week the main characteristics of fascism are represented in Donald Trump’s appeal, including: “telling the majority that their greatness is in the danger of being stolen from them by an ethnic minority” and the implementation of a Muslim travel ban in the US.

This comes as a federal court judge ordered refugees and other immigrants stuck at American airports should not be sent back to their home countries after President Donald Trump signed a surprise executive order blocking them from entering the US.

Mr O’Malley added Mr Trump is “fanning the economic fears of middle class, working, or lower middle class people, promoting a white militant nationalism. These are all things that Donald Trump has done.”

This week, President Trump signed two executive orders on immigration - one to build a wall between Mexico and the United States; the other to halt funding to sanctuary cities and counties failing to comply with federal officials to help deport immigrants. 

The order targeting sanctuary cities was met by resistance from city mayors all over the US including New York, Boston and Los Angeles. 

Mr O’Malley hit out against the executive order saying it amounts to trying to make local police services an immigration dragnet.  

"It’s an important battle. Mayors need to stand up with the backbone and the backing of their people and take this on," he said. 

Speaking about political stability in the United States, Mr O’Malley said that "Political stability in the United States pales in comparison to Northern Ireland".

Listen to the full interview with Martin O’Malley

Listen to Cian McCormack’s This Week report on sanctuary cities and immigration policy