Donald Trump knows how to land himself on the front pages. Possibly distressed that his visit to London was playing second fiddle in the British news cycle to England’s World Cup loss to Croatia, Trump used an interview with The Sun to make threats against U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that could further destabilize her government and push her from power.
If May sealed the “soft Brexit” deal she’s negotiated with the European Union for the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU, Trump said, a trade deal between the U.K. and the U.S. was probably off. Oh, and by the way, he thinks that Boris Johnson, a leading Brexiteer and political nemesis to May, would make a great prime minister. Last week, Johnson quit May’s government, where he had served as foreign secretary, in protest of May’s EU exit deal.
For good measure, he threw in chilling comments that showed his real reason for opposing Western nations’ acceptance of migrants from the worldwide wave of refugees. It’s all about culture, you see.
“I think what has happened to Europe is a shame,” he told the tabloid. “Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.”
He added: “I think you are losing your culture.”
Never mind that the culture Trump calls “European” is actually the result of the cultural mixing of millennia. As a person one would hardly considered cultured, Trump’s concern is more likely to be more one of skin color than one of cultural preservation. One need only listen to Trump’s mangled syntax to take in his disrespect for the English language. And I’m quite certain he couldn’t distinguish J.S. Bach from P.D.Q. Bach.
And, of course, Trump couldn’t resist taking a swipe at Sadiq Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants who is London’s first Muslim mayor. The American president blamed a wave of terror attacks endured by Londoners last year on Khan.
This all comes on the heels of the president’s disgusting behavior toward U.S. allies at the NATO summit in Brussels earlier this week, which was a lot like the disgusting behavior he displayed toward America’s G-7 allies.
As I wrote following the G-7 debacle, when Trump picked an ego-war with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, there’s a major global realignment taking place, and Trump is the tool by which those who set it in motion are making it happen.
That realignment sets the United States in opposition to its long-time allies, and all of the world’s functioning democracies.
It’s not for nothing that Steve Bannon, the former Trump campaign CEO and White House strategist, set up shop in London just ahead of the president’s visit.
Every action that Trump has taken against allies, especially with regard to tariffs and Brexit, comes straight out of the apocalyptic Bannon playbook. Bannon likes to cast his philosophy as “economic nationalism,” but his cozy relationship to the racist alt-right suggests even darker motivations.
As Trump prepared to leave behind the ruins of the NATO summit—ruins created by his barbarism—Bannon was courting the far-right leaders of Britain and the European continent in the conference room of an unidentified “five-star hotel” in the Mayfair section of London, according to Politico’s Annie Karni. His brief seemed to be the coordination of support for Trump among the anti-democratic forces of Europe. Brexiteer Nigel Farage was sighted by Karni, as was Louis Aliot, the French right-wing politician who is romantically involved with National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
Then Bannon gave an interview to Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, after having described himself to Karni as a “surrogate” for Trump.
I never believed the stories of Bannon’s banishment from the White House. He may have had to lay low for a while, and perhaps he doesn’t visit the premises, but his influence is clear in Trump’s tariff regime and war on refugees. It’s also worth noting that Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced data firm Bannon helped to found, first got its sea legs working on the Brexit campaign in the lead-up to the British people’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union.
The world Bannon hopes to create—apparently with the help of Rupert Murdoch, who owns both The Sun and Fox News Channel—is a dark and bloody place.
We’re already headed down that path. And so far, we, the American people, are permitting it. The Republican Party could go down in history as the party that destroyed the republic. Nice goin’, fellas.