‘Is reality just copying from television?’ – Trump’s EU envoy pick to RT
Ted Malloch, Trump’s pick for ambassador to the EU, sat down with RT’s Afshin Rattansi, sharing with him how fake news in the Western media has become a reality determining political agendas, and warning the EU against being too harsh on the exiting UK.
February’s announcement of Malloch’s candidacy prompted strong disapproval from the European Parliament, which described him as a threat to the union.
However, Malloch believes that the media rhetoric is actually more dangerous. Asked about a recent ‘Donald Trump is a spy’ spoof, he pointed out an alarming tendency.
“One has to wonder,” the UK-based political scientist said, “if reality is actually copying some of these series on television. It would be very funny if it was a joke, but of course it’s not a joke, and now it’s impairing certain things that are happening in American politics. Some of us would wish it would just go away, [but] I’m afraid we’re going to have to live with it for the next period of time and combat it for what it is – largely fake news.”
Being interviewed on Russian TV these days can be perilous, he added, but he is willing to risk it.
“I suspect I’m in deep trouble for even going on Russian TV. But I think this is really the wrong view, both of Russia and the world, so we really need to find ways to undo that and go back to a different place.”
“Let me make it clear, I had no Russian dressing at my club this afternoon,” he quipped, referring to a statement made earlier this week by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
One of Malloch’s positions that drew Brussels’ ire was his keen support of Brexit. As UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday, Malloch had nothing but kind words.
“It’s a great day for Great Britain. I think that finally there will be freedom again in Great Britain as a result of leaving the EU,” he said.
“It’s a democratic vote, a referendum to leave, and I actually think it will be a fairly clear break. It won’t be a soft break or a hard break but a clean break.”
He also warned the EU against being spiteful to Britain and making the process of leaving too costly.
“You hear some people going to those negotiations saying that they’re going to be very harsh, very punitive, and ‘we’re going to teach Britain a lesson.’ Well, that really won’t be very constructive if that’s the case.”
“It will be a very short negotiation; I suspect it can be over in as few as six months. But if they take this ‘we’re going to teach Britain a lesson so nobody else does this’ attitude, I think it will end badly, particularly for the EU,” Malloch added.
On the subject of NATO, Malloch backed US President Donald Trump’s position that America’s allies are not spending enough on their own defense.
“There’s always some excuse about why they can’t, or they’re doing something else, or they’ve got this problem or that problem, so I think Trump’s going to be a much, much tougher paymaster with our European allies on this question of NATO. They want NATO, they’re going to have to pay for NATO.”
Malloch also referred to Trump’s harsh rhetoric against NATO during the presidential race, but said the president wants to communicate with the bloc and would like to see it function the way it’s supposed to.
“That’s not to say that he [Trump] believes that NATO is altogether something to be thrown in the ash heap of history. He did make strong statements in his campaign about it being obsolete, he’s now retracted some of those as a result of interaction with both NATO officials and his secretary of defense, and he used the term that NATO could be ‘re-engineered’ to do other things in the future and look at future threats, not fight the last war. But it’s all based on the premise that people pay to be a member of the club.”