Donald Trump has rudely dumped Italy’s Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini, saying he “never wanted to meet him” and “didn’t even know him”—only a few weeks after meeting and posing with the European populist.
In April this year, Trump met up and posed for pictures with Salvini at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, northeastern Pennsylvania, and, according to the La Repubblica newspaper, expressed the hope that Salvini would become the prime minister of Italy.
Now, however, Trump has completely reversed his positon. In an interview with journalist Michael Wolff published in the Hollywood Reporter (“The Donald Trump Conversation: Politics’ ‘Dark Heart’ Is Having the Best Time Anyone’s Ever Had,” June 01, 2016), Trump has completely distanced himself from Salvini.
In the interview, when asked about Salvini, Trump declared: “I didn’t want to meet him. I didn’t even know him.”
As Wolff wrote:
I ask if he sees himself as having similarities with leaders of the growing anti-immigrant (some would say outright racist) European nativist movements, like Marine Le Pen in France and Matteo Salvini in Italy, whom the Wall Street Journal reported Trump had met with and endorsed in Philadelphia. (“Matteo, I wish you become the next Italian premier soon,” Trump was quoted as saying.) In fact, he insists he didn’t meet Salvini. “I didn’t want to meet him.” And, in sum, he doesn’t particularly see similarities — or at least isn’t interested in them — between those movements and the anti-immigrant nationalism he is promoting in this country.
When asked why Trump would distance himself in this way, Salvini told the La Repubblica that this “makes me laugh…that interview is unbelievable. I assure you, a dozen emails were exchanged in preparation for that meeting. I didn’t jump from an airplane with a hat and flag.”
The La Repubblica contacted the author of the Hollywood Reporter article and asked him why Trump had made the comments.
“He has no advantage in enhancing ties with Le Pen or Salvini,” Wolff told La Repubblica.
When asked the reason for this, Wolff speculated that “Even European leaders are regarded as ‘foreigners’ by Trump’s electoral base, which remains xenophobic and has no interest in its leadership’s international relations of its leaders.”
Whatever the reason, the reality remains that Trump’s public repudiation of Salvini is a clear indication that the maverick businessman-turned politician is starting to be “brought into line” by the establishment.
Another disturbing recent revelation about Trump has come with the claim by his son Eric that the decision to run for president was driven primarily by the “deal” struck with Iran over that nation’s mythical “atom bomb” project.
Like all pro-Israel politicians, Trump appears to be totally convinced that Iran really did, or does have, a “nuclear weapons” program—despite all the US intelligence agencies confirming that this was an outrageous lie, propagated by the Jewish lobby in America.
According to Eric Trump, his father was “so disgusted” by the Iran deal that this was “one of the things that made him jump into the race. I think that was a game changer for him.”
As Trump himself has said on many occasions, if elected, he would be the best thing that has ever happened to Israel—and as is clear from the Salvini episode, he is likely to cater to the demands of Israel before considering any European politician.