The man tipped to be Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union has compared the EU to the Soviet Union, and hinted that he wants to help bring it down just like the USSR.
Asked on Thursday during the BBC's political talk show This Week why he wanted to be the US ambassador to the EU when he was clearly not a fan, Ted Malloch said: “I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped to bring down the Soviet Union, so maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming."
During the course of the programme, Malloch, who is currently a professor at Henley Business School, said Trump was pro-Brexit and had no enthusiasm for EU integration: "He doesn’t like an organisation that is supranational, that is unelected, where the bureaucrats run amok, and is not frankly a proper democracy," the would-be ambassador said.
America's likely next ambassador to Brussels also criticised the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Junker, describing him as "a very adequate mayor of some city in Luxembourg". Junker was the country's prime minister for 18 years.
Malloch’s views would mark a stark change from those of the departing US ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, who earlier this month said it would be folly for the US to support further fragmentation of the EU.
Gardner also told reporters the Trump team inquired about which countries might leave the EU next, a sign, he believed, of the influence that Nigel Farage has had on the new administration. "This is reflective of the general perception of the EU and it’s a misperception,” Gardner said. "It’s a perception that Nigel Farage is presumably, you know, disseminating in Washington. And it’s a caricature."
In the interview Malloch predicted that if there was chemistry between Trump and Theresa May (who is currently in the US to meet the new president), a trade deal could “aid a swift, hard Brexit for Britain on more favourable terms with the EU”.
He also echoed another point Trump has made on a number of occasions about the future of NATO. Malloch told This Week that NATO will have "to step up and modify in order to meet new threats" and said countries like France, Germany, and Luxembourg would have to up their financial contributions and could no longer continue to free-ride on the US defence budget.
Malloch also suggested that German chancellor Angela Merkel was anxious to see Trump, and that the president had so far played it cool: "He said some things about Germany that have caused concern in those circles ... and has said some things both about the euro and the way the European Union is tilted towards Germany,” he said, referring to comments the president made during an interview this month.
Malloch said Trump’s attitude to the UK compared to Barack Obama’s was like the difference between "night and day", adding: "Donald Trump loves Great Britain."