Just when it seemed like the European Union’s troubles couldn’t get any worse, Donald Trump seemed to rub salt in its wounds last week. In a joint interview with German newspaper Bild and The Times of London, he lauded Brexit, disparaged German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, and derided the EU as a “vehicle” for German economic domination.
Trump clearly would shed no tears were the union to collapse on his watch. But could he instead end up being the EU’s savior?
Trump’s most recent comments follow reported assurances given by the Trump transition team to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the U.S. would quickly put a generous bilateral free trade deal on the table to strengthen London’s hand in negotiating the terms of Brexit with the EU. After meeting with Johnson in Washington, Sen. Robert Corker, once floated as a potential Trump secretary of state nominee, publicly declared that such a deal would be a high priority in Washington.