Estonia’s Interior Minister Mart Helme is set to resign over a recent interview in which he blasted Joe Biden and his son Hunter as “corrupt dudes” and sided with Donald Trump in claiming that there was fraud in the US presidential election.
The minister, who is a member of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE), said he decided to step down to protect the government and the ruling coalition, of which his party is a member.
The controversial remarks were aired on Sunday, when Helme and two other top party members discussed the outcome of the American elections and how the division over it may lead to a civil war in the US. The two other guests were Helme’s son Martin, who serves as EKRE chair and Estonian finance minister, and MP Jaak Madison.
The broadcast was rebuked by Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who is also the leader of the Centre Party. He said Biden was a respectable politician and that US democracy was robust and strong. The PM added that the attacks made by the conservatives were harmful to Estonia’s ties with the US.
The election of Joe Biden as the next US president may force UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to re-evaluate his Brexit strategy, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney believes. “I think we all want now to try to see the back of tense standoffs linked to Brexit,” he said in an interview with RTE News. “What we need for the coming months and years is Ireland, the EU and the UK working together in partnership … and working with this new incoming administration, because, I think, trans-Atlantic relations will be different.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs @Simoncoveney says there may be 'pause for thought' in the UK about Brexit negotiations 'now that Joe Biden is going to be the next President of the United States' | Read more: https://t.co/Gf6nKbGU78pic.twitter.com/BOHC5uT8bK— RTÉ News (@rtenews) November 9, 2020
The minister said the US president-elect is “a real friend of Ireland” and is on the record as supporting the Good Friday Agreement. The cornerstone peace deal is in peril, as the Johnson cabinet put pressure on Brussels while negotiating a new EU-UK trade agreement. With no compromise reached, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland seems to be on the table.
The incoming Biden administration will likely take a more multilateral approach to international trade, defusing tensions with Europe and China, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk on Monday. But given the chaotic transition of power, uncertainty over future US policies could persist for months – potentially until spring, he said. The minister expressed hope that the US under Biden will rejoin the Paris agreement on climate change.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have congratulated Joe Biden on his apparent electoral win. The Saudi royals, who usually maintain a tight relationship with Washington regardless of who controls the presidency, tweeted a message of support to Biden on Sunday night.
The Saudi royals fared well under the Trump administration. Donald Trump’s first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia, and his administration stepped up weapons exports to the Kingdom’s military. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal further cemented his alliance with the Saudis, in the power struggle between both regional rivals.
Former US president George W Bush has congratulated Joe Biden on his apparent victory over President Donald Trump, calling Biden “a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”
NEW: President George W. Bush on the 2020 election pic.twitter.com/GXp3iimEa9— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) November 8, 2020
Bush stressed that Trump “has the right to request re-counts and pursue legal challenges,” however – a route Bush himself took after the news media called Florida for Al Gore in 2000.
Trump will take legal action against Biden’s apparent win, with lawyer Rudy Giuliani telling Fox News on Sunday that the president’s legal team has enough evidence of fraud to potentially overturn Biden’s narrow victories in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Celebrating Joe Biden’s apparent victory on the streets of New York, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer set his gaze south, where two Senate races could possibly hand control of the Upper Chamber to his party.
“Now we take Georgia, and then we change the world!” Schumer exclaimed.
Chuck Schumer on the streets of NYC “Now we take Georgia, then we change America!” David Perdue in May ‘19: “The road to socialism will never run through Georgia” pic.twitter.com/x1Wpeh3nU6— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) November 7, 2020
Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue face off against Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in runoff races in January. Georgia hasn’t had a Democratic senator since 2005, but with control of the Senate at stake, the party will likely pour millions of dollars into unseating the two Republican lawmakers.