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05/12/2016

Moscovici: ‘Extremely difficult’ to work with ‘anti-European’ Trump

Global Europe

Moscovici: ‘Extremely difficult’ to work with ‘anti-European’ Trump

Trump pictured on a tongue-in-cheek poster advertising a TV channel in Brussels.

[Joel Schalitt/Flickr]

It would be “extremely difficult” for the European Union to work with Donald Trump if the Republican wins the US presidential race in November, a European Commissioner said Wednesday (8 June).

Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that while the EU had not taken an official position on whether to back Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he hoped a Trump presidency “could be avoided”.

“When I see Donald Trump, I see the face of a populist and I see words which are criticised by members of the Republican Party, and not just any members,” he told French media.

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Moscovici recalled that US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday (7 June) described Trump’s criticism of a Mexican-American judge as “racist”, although Ryan also reiterated his support for Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Moscovici, who is a former French finance minister, said that with Trump, “I see anti-European words and I see protectionist words.”

“It would be extremely difficult to work with a Trump administration,” he said.

“I hope we can avoid it, speaking as a political leader.”

But Moscovici added, “At the same time, if Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, he would have this legitimacy and we would have to work with him.”

Trump trails Clinton

Republican Donald Trump trails Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10 points in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a poll released on Tuesday, showing little change from a week ago and suggesting his comments about a Mexican-American judge had yet to affect his standing in the race.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll came after several days in which Trump faced sharp criticism over his insistence that a federal judge who was born in Indiana to Mexican parents was biased in a case involving the celebrity billionaire.

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But the fallout from Trump’s comments appeared to have done little to help Clinton build her lead over the presumptive Republican nominee.

The online survey of 1,261 showed that 44.3% of likely voters said they would vote for Clinton, compared with 34.7% who would support Trump. A further 20.9% said they would not vote for either candidate. The results were little changed from last week’s survey.

The poll was conducted from Friday (3 June)  to Tuesday, starting shortly after Trump’s first comments about US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing fraud lawsuits against Trump University, the New York businessman’s defunct real estate school.

Other events, including news that Clinton had secured enough delegates and superdelegates to become the first female presidential candidate of a major US political party, occurred toward the end of the poll.