The Forces behind Trump: EU was formed 'to beat the US at making money'
Donald Trump has claimed that the European Union was created to “beat the United States when it comes to making money” in an interview with NBC News.
Speaking to Chuck Todd, whom the Republican nominee has repeatedly berated as “sleepy-eyed”, Trump also said of the EU “the reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the United States”.
The European Union was founded as the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 in an effort to promote strong cross-border ties in Europe and avoid future wars. It has since evolved to a customs union and eventually to the transnational entity devoted to removing internal trade barriers, building a common market and a fiscal union. Its development and growth has been repeatedly supported by the United States under presidents of both parties.
Trump’s anti-European statements come after the Republican nominee repeatedly praised Brexit, the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, including in a press conference in the day after the referendum held at a Trump golf course in Scotland.
In the interview, Trump defended his recent attacks on Nato, saying that countries in the organization needed to pay more to the United States in order for Washington to meet its treaty obligations of mutual defense. In doing so, Trump called Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell “100% wrong” for rebutting his comments earlier this week. The Kentucky senator told Politico: “Nato is the most important military alliance in world history. I want to reassure our Nato allies that if any of them get attacked, we’ll be there to defend them.”
Trump also called both the World Trade Organization and Nafta “disasters”.
The Republican nominee also said that his call to ban people from the United States from “any nation that has been compromised by terrorism” was an expansion on his infamous Muslim ban of December, 2015. “I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion,” said Trump. He added: “I’m looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.”
Trump also stood by longtime friend Roger Ailes, who left Fox News this week after being accused of sexual harassment by a number of former and current employees. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time,” said Trump. The Republican nominee went on to describe the situation as “very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person”.
Trump added: “I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he’s going to run my campaign.”
He also confirmed reports that he would seek revenge against former presidential nominee rivals John Kasich and Ted Cruz by funding a super PAC in the 2018 cycle to help defeat their respective attempts to win the gubernatorial election in Ohio and US Senate election in Texas.
“I’ll probably do a super PAC, you know, when they run against Kasich, for $10m to $20m, against Ted Cruz,” said Trump. “And maybe one other person that I’m thinking about.”
Trump also initially hedged on whether he’d support the Senate candidacy of former Ku Klux Klan candidate David Duke, who announced Friday that he would mount a bid as a Republican in his home state of Louisiana. When asked: “Would you support a Democrat over David Duke,” Trump responded: “I guess, depending on who the Democrat was, but the answer would be yes.”
Duke has cited Trump as an inspiration for his candidacy and is a long-time endorser. The Republican nominee has faced controversy during his campaign for his unwillingness to condemn Duke at times.
“Voting for these people [Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz], voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage. I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump, in fact I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”— David Duke, on his radio program, Feb. 25, 2016