Sputnik: Have US-EU relations deteriorated during Trump's presidency?
Clodagh Harrington: The message from Merkel and Macron was probably going to go out anyway, the words that they said would stand regardless of Trump because I think that the problems facing the world at the moment are bigger than the man himself.
Nonetheless; I think there was a very clear message to the president of the United States about how he is. Their wording was quite strong; the use of the word destructive isolationism and Macron voicing concern about returning to nationalism, are big things to say, especially on the centenary of the First World War.
They had particular resonance and weight because it isn't just speculation of things that might happen; it's that things were terrible before. There's a reason we've had a western alliance since 1945; it works. It doesn't work perfectly, but it works a lot better than what was there before, so certainly there was a message there that would be difficult for Trump to ignore even if he doesn't care.
George W Bush wasn't a big fan of the EU and of all the supernational organisations and entities, so it's not like Trump is the first American leader to not be a huge fan of them; but his overt aggression towards them and the language and rhetoric that he uses is really quite unprecedented.
He clearly doesn't have much time for the UN, EU and NATO; there's a whole shopping list of organisations that he's not particularly impressed with. He has no qualms about making that public and his voting base really loves that because they are very much about the America first agenda, so those kind of sentences are music to their ears.
Sputnik: Do you think Trump values the special relationship with the UK over the EU?
Clodagh Harrington: He does not have a sense of history, he's not a reader and is not interested in what has gone before and seems to see things in straightforward business terms and he looks at relationships with other countries in a very bilateral way.
I don't think that the special relationship is at its peak at the moment. It's had its ups and downs over the years, and some British and American leaders have had a better rapport than others, but it doesn't seem to be particularly warm between Donald Trump and Theresa May and there's no sign of it getting any better soon.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.