Nytt

USAs påtroppende president Donald Trump gav nylig sitt første store intervju til europeisk presse etter valget i november, idet han tok imot Michael Gove fra The Times og Kai Diekmann fra Bild på sitt kontor i Trump Tower i New York.

donald-trump

Også få dager før han innsettes i embedet, fremstår The Donald med denne kombinasjonen av høflighet og ubehøvlet åpenhjertighet som er blitt et slags varemerke for ham. Man får inntrykk at Trump vil bli en handlekraftig president, fullstendig uredd som han virker for å tråkke på andres – om enn noe mindre mektige – tær.

Samtalen tar utgangspunkt i at presidenten vil få mye med hjemlandene til de to intervjuerne å gjøre. Trump viser seg da fra den litt overstrømmende høflige siden som ikke er uvanlig for amerikanere:

The Times, Bild: Mr President-elect, your grandfather is from Germany, your mother is from Scotland. As you know, Michael is Scottish, I am German. How will you manage relations with our countries?

Donald Trump: Well, it’s similar. We have great love for both countries. These are great countries, great places.

Trump kommer straks inn på temaet Brexit, som han tror vil bli helt strålende, og selv har han tenkt å gjøre sitt:

So do you think we will be able to get a trade deal between the US and the UK quite quickly?

Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK, uh, we’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly — good for both sides.

Intervjuerne spør Trump hvorfor britene etter hans oppfatning stemte for å forlate EU. Svaret ville ha sendt sjokkbølger gjennom de aller fleste fisefine middagsselskaper i Vest-Europa:

People don’t want to have other people coming in and destroying their country and you know in this country we’re gonna go very strong borders from the day I get in.

We don’t want people coming in from Syria who we don’t know who they are. You know there’s no way of vetting these people. I don’t want to do what Germany did.

Trump er snar med å innta den høflige rollen igjen, men modererer ikke standpunktet sitt:

And I’ve great respect for Merkel, by the way, I have to say. I have great respect for her. But, I, I think it was, I think it was very unfortunate what happened.

And you know I have a love for Germany because my father came from Germany and, I don’t want to be in that position. You know the way I look at it, we have enough problems.

På spørsmål om han fortsatt har til hensikt å sette en stopper for at muslimer reiser inn i USA, svarer ikke Trump klart bekreftende, men sier snarere at det vil bli foretatt «ekstremt grundige bakgrunnssjekker», og legger til at dette knapt skjer i øyeblikket.

Etter å ha skrytt enda mer av Tyskland,

I’m very proud of Germany and Germany is very special […] I love Germany

insisterer Trump på kritikken av Merkel:

I don’t know her, I’ve never met her. As I said, I’ve had great respect for her. I felt she was a great, great leader. I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody even knows where they come from. You’ll find out, you got a big dose of it a week ago. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake.

Tenk om en norsk politiker også kunne ha sagt dette fullstendig opplagte, som også erkjennes langt inne i Merkels egne rekker?

In your campaign you said Angela Merkel’s policy on Syrian refugees was insane. Do you still think so?

I think it’s not good. I think it was a big mistake for Germany. And Germany of all countries, ’cause Germany was one of the toughest in the world for having anybody go in, and, uh, no I think it was a mistake. And I’ll see her and I’ll meet her and I respect her. And I like her but I think it was a mistake. And people make mistakes but I think it was a very big mistake.

Irak-krigen var et historisk feilgrep, mener Trump, kanskje det aller verste. Afghanistan er også en hengemyr. Han responderer ikke på intervjuernes invitasjon til å gi Obama skylden, men sier at «we haven’t let our people do what they’re supposed to do» og «we haven’t let our military win» – som om USA burde ha gått knusende til verks hvis landet først skulle involvere seg, og ikke på den kalibrerte, avmålte måten.

Trump ønsker seg færre ord av det slaget Obama-administrasjonen har levert, og mer handling:

And what’s your priority for the military as commander-in-chief?

Isis.

And how are you going to deal with Isis?

Well, I’d rather not say, I don’t want to be like Obama or others where they say — I always talk about Mosul, you know Mosul’s turned out to be a disas — brutal. So Mosul, so they announced four months ago we’re going to attack Mosul — I said, “Why do you have to announce it?”.

Mosul turned out to be a disaster because we announced five months ago that we were going into Mosul, in five months. In four months we said, “We’re getting ready”, by the time we get in, it’s been so much talk — and it’s been very hard to take — you know that, right?

Trump er ikke begeistret for at Putin har fått spillerom i Syria, men mener det skyldes at Obama ikke holdt ord da han stilte sitt ultimatum.

Intervjuerne lurer på om Trump stoler mest på Merkel eller Putin. Svaret kunne vanskelig ha kommet fra noen andre:

Well, I start off trusting both — but let’s see how long that lasts. It may not last long at all.

Trump tilkjennegir et ambivalent forhold til NATO. Han sier på den ene siden at alliansen er utdatert, på den andre siden at NATO er svært viktig for ham. Han bekrefter sikkerhetsgarantien, men insisterer likevel på at alliansepartnerne må gjøre sin del:

Britain is paying.

Britain is paying. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much, from 22.

For decades now, Europe has depended on America for its defence. Will that guarantee be there in the future as well?

Yeah, I feel very strongly toward Europe — very strongly toward Europe, yes.

Trump avslår invitasjonen til å bekrefte at USA vil flytte sin israelske ambassade til Jerusalem med et «we’ll se what happens», men fillerister USAs opptreden i forbindelse med den nylige FN-resolusjonen om Israel.

I think it was terrible. It should have been a veto. I think it was terrible.

Trump mener han selv vil komme i en vanskeligere posisjon som forhandler:

The problem I have is that it makes it a tougher deal for me to negotiate because the Palestinians are given so much — even though it’s not legally binding it’s psychologically binding and it makes it much tougher for me to negotiate. You understand that? Because people are giving away chips, they’re giving away all these chips.

Intervjuerne spør hva Trump tror om fremtiden for EU. Han tror flere kan følge etter Storbritannia. For ham handler det om identitet:

I think it’s tough. People, countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity but, I do believe this, if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it, you know, entails, I think that you wouldn’t have a Brexit. It probably could have worked out but, this was the final straw, this was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

I think people want, people want their own identity, so if you ask me, others, I believe others will leave.

Trump sier at det ikke er så viktig for USA om EU består som en sterk enhet eller ei.

I don’t really care whether it’s separate or together, to me it doesn’t matter.

På antydningen om at europeere frykter et proteksjonistisk USA, svarer Trump at det ikke er balanse i verdens handel med USA. Ikke uventet nevner han Kina som det største problemet, men heller ikke Tyskland går fri. Det kan ikke fortsette slik, mener Trump:

It’s going to be different — I mean Germany is a great country, great manufacturing country — you go down Fifth Avenue everybody has a Mercedes-Benz in front of their building, right — the fact is that it’s been very unfair to the US, it’s not a two-way street. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Maybe none — not too many — how many — you don’t see anything over there — it’s a one-way street — it’s gotta be a two-way street — I want it to be fair but it’s gotta be a two-way street and that’s why we’re losing almost $800, think of it, $800 billion a year in trade so that will stop

Man har utvilsomt fått seg en støkk hos BMW, som har planlagt å åpne fabrikk i Mexico:

I would tell BMW if they think they’re gonna build a plant in Mexico and sell cars into the US without a 35 per cent tax, it’s not gonna happen

Trump blir spurt om han egentlig er konservativ, siden han ikke er for frihandel. Jeg er pragmatisk, svarer han, og for frihandel, men avtalene må være smarte.

Pragmatisk er også forholdet til de hemmelige tjenestene: De er fine, sier Trump, men det lekkes for mye «fake news», hvem nå enn det er som står bak.

Trump kommer til å fortsette å twitre, og begrunner hvorfor:

I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press — so dishonestly — that I can put out Twitter — and it’s not 140, it’s now 140, 280 — I can go bing bing bing and I just keep going and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out

But ya know the tweeting is interesting because I find it very accurate — when I get a word out and if I tell something to the papers and they don’t write it accurately, it’s really bad — they can’t do much when you tweet it

Pressekonferanser er dessuten så mye arbeid, legger han til. Hvorfor ikke ta regien selv?

Det er liten tvil om at det kommer nye spilleregler fra USAs neste president. Sedvaner står for fall, både i offentligheten og i relasjonene mellom stater. Det blir ikke nødvendigvis til det verre. Og eksemplets makt er stor.

 

The Times