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Donald Trump Claims US Has No Ally ‘Worse Than the EU’ in Candid Interview

Donald Trump Claims US Has No Ally ‘Worse Than the EU’ in Candid Interview

Sputnik
October 15, 2018

In a “60 Minutes” interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl that aired on Sunday night, US President Donald Trump was pushed on far-ranging topics, including China, Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin, climate change, and his own administration. Sputnik takes a look at the most flamboyant statements and the POTUS’s fierce rhetoric.

The ‘Worst’ European Partners

Donald Trump has once again lashed out at his trans-Atlantic partners as Washington and Brussels have been drifting apart on trade over his protectionist import tariffs.

“I mean, what’s an ally? We have wonderful relationships with a lot of people. But nobody treats us much worse than the European Union. The European Union was formed in order to take advantage of us on trade, and that’s what they’ve done,” he said.

“It sounds hostile,” the interviewer replied.

“It’s not hostile. You know what’s hostile? The way they treat us. We’re not hostile,” he shot back. “We’ve been the stupid country for so many years.”

The ‘Vicious’ White House

Trump indicated that there were “some people that [he’s] not happy with” without naming them, but indicated that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis might be “a sort of a Democrat” and “could be” going to leave his post. This echoed recent reportsin American media that their relations have become strained behind close doors.

Trump also confessed that not everyone in Washington is trustworthy. “I’m not saying I trust everybody in the White House. I’m not a baby. It’s a tough business. This is a vicious place. Washington, DC, is a vicious, vicious place. The attacks the bad-mouthing, the speaking behind your back. But, you know, and in my way, I feel very comfortable here.”

The Missing Jamal Khashoggi

Donald Trump didn’t rule out the Saudi authorities being behind the disappearance and potential murder of Jamal Khashoggi. However, he said that they “vehemently” denied any involvement in a phone conversation with his son-in-low, Jared Kushner.

When asked whether the US would go ahead with sanctions if a state-sponsored murder was proven, Trump replied that “it depends on what the sanction is.” Although he vowed a “severe punishment,” he failed to threaten to curtail military equipment supplies, citing concerns that he didn’t want to “hurt jobs” and “lose an order” for big companies such as Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon.

Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi reporter, known for his criticism of Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohhamad. He was last seen on October 2 when he entered the building of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain some documents for his upcoming wedding. Last week, it emerged in a Washington Post report that Turkish officials have audio and video recordings purportedly proving that the Consulate’s security detained, tortured, and brutally murdered the journalist, which the Arab republic’s authorities deny.

The ‘Love Affair’ With Kim

Stahl steered the conversation to North Korea, citing human rights violations that she attributed to Pyongyang, such as public executions, slave labor and starvation. Donald Trump insisted that he still “got along” with the North Korean leader.

In a bid to repel Stahl’s attempts to push him into the corner, he said that his recent words about “falling in love” with Kim Jong-un were a “figure of speech.”

“Look, let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him. Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats.”

The US president earlier trumpeted that this year’s landmark meeting with Kim had signaled a thaw in the North’s relations with Washington and Seoul, and that his joint declaration with Kim on denuclearizing the peninsula had marked the beginning of an era of peace for the two Koreas.

The ‘Forgetful’ Blasey Ford

Donald Trump refused to backtrack on his mocking of Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who accused his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault back in high school.

“Had I not made that speech, we would not have won,” he said, the “victory” being the Senate judiciary Committee’s confirmation of his pick. “She didn’t seem to know anything and she tried to destroy the life of a man who has been extraordinary,” he said, insisting that he treated Blasey Ford with respect.

At a political rally in Mississippi earlier this month, Trump delivered an imitation of the accuser’s testimony, claiming that she didn’t remember any detail of the purported incident except that she just “had one beer.”

The Russian ‘Assassins’

The interviewer has voiced her dissent over what she called was his lack of “harsh” public statements on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The POTUS hit back, claiming that “I think I’m very tough with him personally.” He went on to praise his own role in the Ukrainian conflict, citing deliveries of “offensive weapons and tank killers” to Kiev.

He suggested that Putin was “probably” involved in assassinations and poisonings, in a nod to allegations that the Skripal poisoning was carried out by Russian servicemen, which the Kremlin adamantly denies. Trump also said that he believed Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential vote, contradicting his previous statements that it didn’t. The president also accused China of interference, claiming that it was “a bigger problem.”

The Changing Climate

Donald Trump, who has recently accused climate change scientists of pursuing a “political agenda,” says that he doesn’t view climate change as a hoax.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing, and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. I will say this. I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage.”

Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord in 2017, insisting that the deal, which is concerned with tackling the growing issue of climate change, was providing incentives to polluters in India and China to lower emissions, while concurrently being too hard on the American industry.

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