Anthony Scaramucci tried to soothe concerns triggered by Donald Trump, on Tuesday (17 December), as the US president-elect outlined his foreign policy agenda to British and German newspapers.
On the eve of Scaramucci’s participation in a panel at the World Economic Forum, Trump said that he expected more countries to follow Britain and exit the EU. Trump again questioned NATO, describing it as “obsolete”.
At his panel, Scaramucci explained that “what he was trying to say” is that NATO was designed to fortify European democracies. “It was an offspring of containment policy,” he told the audience.
But after its “resounding” success, Trump wants to convince his NATO partners not only to pay their share of the bill, by increasing military spending, but also by reorganising the alliance, and “rechartering” it.
Concerning the EU, he warned that EU officials had “lost touch” with their citizens, bringing instability to the Union as a whole.
“We want the EU, but the European elites, the EU bureaucrats have to pay more attention to the working class,” he emphasised.
The Trump advisor questioned the EU institutions’ capacity to shape the European policy from the centre, by noting that “maybe people in Brussels don’t know the right policies to put in place in Manchester”.
Scaramucci denied that Trump is a supporter of nationalism, as he acknowledged that in European history, it ultimately leads militarisation.
“Trump is talking about self-determination”, he said, claiming that the billionaire is trying to return power to the people.
‘Punch back hard’
Scaramucci tried to encourage understanding for his outspoken boss. He is a “compassionate leader” he told a rather sceptical audience.
But he also described Trump as a “counter-punching person”. He does not punch first, he jokingly said, but if you hit him, “he likes punch to back hard”.
Scaramucci, who attended the forum over the last 10 years as an asset manager, also replied to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s warning about a trade war.
In the morning, the Chinese leader told the fully-packed congress hall that “nobody will emerge as a winner in a trade war”. Xi urged global leaders to say ‘no’ to protectionism.
“We dont want a trade war” with China, Scaramucci said. Instead, he stated that “we need to have a strong bilateral relationship” with Beijing.
But echoing the new discourse coming from Europe, he stressed that “we want (a) free and fair trade policy”.
As Trump repeated during his campaign, Scaramucci said that trade deals “crippled” American workers and the US middle class.
“We have to come up with policies to address that,” he said.
Scaramucci added that Beijing “has to allow us” to alleviate the negative the consequences of the trade deals that affected broad segments of America’s population.
Moreover, as Xi Jinping gave a passionate defence of free trade, Scaramucci claimed that “Trump could be one of the last hopes of globalisation.”
- 17-20 February: World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland).