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9 Jun, 2020 05:02

Obama’s EU envoy says Trump is ‘like Mussolini’ for ‘openly fomenting racial divisions’ amid police brutality protests

Obama’s EU envoy says Trump is ‘like Mussolini’ for ‘openly fomenting racial divisions’ amid police brutality protests

The former US ambassador to the European Union has compared President Donald Trump to Benito Mussolini, Italy’s fascist strongman, insisting he has only widened racial divisions among citizens as protests rage around the US.

The former envoy, Anthony Gardner – who served under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017 – told Politico on Monday that Trump’s actions and rhetoric were reminiscent of Il Duce, the godfather of fascism and an ally of the Nazis during World War II.

“For a couple of years, I was troubled by many things that Donald Trump shares with Benito Mussolini, someone my Italian grandparents fled from in 1938,” said Gardner, a Democrat and a backer of former vice president Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

While he didn’t elaborate on the comparison or provide examples, Gardner referred generically to Trump’s response to police brutality protests that have erupted across hundreds of American cities since late May, after an unarmed black man was killed in the custody of the Minneapolis police.

It's very disappointing, very dispiriting to have a president of the US who is openly fomenting and inciting racial divisions in order to energize part of his base.

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Though he said he was happy to see former top officials-turned #Resistance heroes – such as ex-defense secretary James Mattis – “speaking out” against Trump and his heavy-handed threats to unleash the military on violent protests and rioting, Gardner nonetheless deemed them complicit.

“When you choose to work for this kind of administration, which showed its true colors very early on, at some point you abet the policies,” he said, adding: “So while I am glad they are saying what they are saying, it comes too late.”

To me, quite bluntly, they are accomplices.

The former envoy’s pitch for the Democratic Party’s 2020 hopeful, Joe Biden, was somewhat lackluster, however. He acknowledged the former VP has generated little excitement among young voters, but argued the other party front runners – Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) – were “unelectable,” leaving Biden as the only option next to Musso… er, Trump.

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