In Stunning Pair Of Interviews, Trump Slams NATO And EU, Threatens BMW With Tax; Prepared To "Cut Ties" With Merkel
15, 2017 (Reposted from Z.H. News)
"[Trump]... reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for
the EU and
Merkel, whose open-border refugee policy he called a 'catastrophic mistake.'"
In two separate, and quite striking, interviews
with Germany's Bild and London's Sunday Times, Donald Trump did what he failed to do in his first US press conference, and covered an extensive amount of policy and strategy, much of which however will likely please neither the pundits,
nor the markets.
Among the numerous topics covered in the Bild interview, he called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would join the U.K.
in leaving the bloc and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to a Sunday interview granted to Germany’s Bild newspaper that will raise concerns in Berlin over trans-Atlantic relations. Furthermore, in his first
"exclusive" interview in the UK granted to the Sunday Times, Trump said he will offer Britain a quick and “fair” trade deal with America within weeks of taking office to help make Brexit a “great thing”. Trump revealed that he was inviting
Theresa May to visit him “right after” he gets into the White House and wants a trade agreement between the two countries secured “very quickly”.
Trump told the Times that other countries would follow Britain’s lead in leaving the European Union, claiming it had been deeply damaged by the migration crisis. “I think it’s very tough,” he said. “People, countries
want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity.”
Elsewhere, quoted in German
from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s
fairly indifferent whether the EU breaks up or stays together, according to Bild. According to Bloomberg, Trump’s comments "leave little doubt that he will stick to campaign positions and may in some cases upend decades of U.S. foreign policy, putting
him fundamentally at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues from free trade and refugees to security and the EU’s role in the world." [...]
back to foreign policy, Trump discussed his stance on Russia and suggested he might use economic sanctions imposed for Vladimir Putin’s encroachment on Ukraine as leverage in nuclear-arms reduction talks, while NATO, he said, “has problems.”
“[NATO] is obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Bild quoted Trump as saying about the trans-Atlantic military
alliance. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and NATO “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
those comments expanded on doubts Trump raised about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during his campaign, he reserved some of his most dismissive remarks for the EU and Merkel,
whose open-border refugee policy he called a “catastrophic mistake.” He further elaborated on this stance in the Times interview, where he said he was willing to lift Russian
sanctions in return for a reduction in nuclear weapons.
When asked about the prospect of a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia, Trump told the newspaper in an
interview: "For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it.”
Additionally, Trump said Brexit
will turn out to be a "great thing." Trump said he would work very hard to get a trade deal with the United Kingdom "done quickly and done properly".
Britons for voting last year to leave the EU. People and countries want their own identity and don’t want outsiders to come in and “destroy it.” The U.K. is smart to leave the bloc because the EU “is basically a means to an end for
Germany,” Bild cited Trump as saying. “If you ask me, more countries will leave,” he was quoted as saying.
While Trump blamed Brexit
on an influx of refugees he said that Britain was forced to accept, the U.K.’s number of asylum applications in 2015 was a fraction of the 890,000 refugees who arrived in Germany that year at the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis.
With Merkel facing an unprecedented challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany as she seeks a fourth term this fall, Trump was asked whether he’d like to see her re-elected.
He said he couldn’t say, adding that while he respects Merkel, who’s been in office for 11 years, he doesn’t know her and she has hurt Germany by letting “all these illegals” into the country.
Among Trump's other comments to Bild:
- the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq may have been
the worst in U.S. history;
- that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is a natural talent who will bring about an accord with Israel (Note: Pray that Trump ceases his Zionism -ED of TCW)
- Trump plans to keep using social media including Twitter once he’s in the White
House to sidestep the press and communicate directly with his followers
- People entering the U.S. will face “extreme” security checks, possibly including
some European nationals
But perhaps the most troubling, if only to legacy US diplomatic relations, was that, as the Times noted, "despite all of Mr Trump's expressions
of admiration for Mr Putin and Mrs Merkel, he revealed that he was prepared to cut ties with both: "Well, I start off trusting both - but let's see how long that lasts. It may not last long at all."