In what has been flagged as a controversial intervention on Nigel Farage’s LBC segment by President Donald Trump regarding Britain’s December general election, what we really hear is nothing that we haven’t heard already. Political commentators, Lord Parekh, has described the intervention as “disturbing” and that his intervention was “blatant and “aggressive”.
Farage has come under fire for upholding a double standard
From these comments, one would feel that Trump’s behaviour was similar to Russian or Chinese intervention, or that his intervention was even more unprincipled considering America’s interests in a post-Brexit USA-UK trade deal.
However, listening to the interview in full, the conversation surrounding Brexit and Boris Johnson continuing as Prime Minister is unsurprising, lacking criticality, and is nothing more than a conversation between two friends.
Additionally, Nigel Farage has come under fire for upholding a double standard as, unlike his previous disapproval of Obama’s Brexit comments in 2016, he had no problem asking President Trump the following question: “We got a general election coming up, is this the moment that Boris should just drop this deal and go for a clean break so we can have serious conversations with you?”
Trump is making an outrageous intervention
It seems that the acceptance or rejection of any kind of comments made by a foreign leader on important matters in another country is based upon whether or not you like that political leader. Even Trump avoided telling Boris what to do, but suggested a Farage-Johnson partnership.
He commented that Johnson is “a fantastic man and… is exactly the right guy for the times” but that his negotiated Brexit deal would prevent any kind of trade deal with the USA. Trump described Jeremy Corbyn as someone who would take Britain in a “bad way”.
By reading the headlines, one initially thinks that Trump is making an outrageous intervention that could potentially weigh heavily on voters; however, listening to the conversation in full, no new opinions were involved but rather a catch up between two old friends.
Image from Gage Skidmore via Flickr