On Monday morning’s New Day, CNN aired an interview with Christiane Amanpour and Nigel Farange, the pro-Brexit champion of the UK Independence Party, live from Cleveland. On the table was the recent shocking admission from Republican nominee Donald Trump, who indicated yesterday to the New York Times that under his Presidency we would only honor treaty-bound obligations to help our allies if they, “fulfill their obligations to us.”
“[Trump] upturned decades and generations of American — particularly Republican — foreign policy,” said Amanpour to Alisyn Camerota. “He went into isolationist mode… he used the NATO alliance almost as a transactional business alliance.”
“That is a complete break from American policy, because NATO is an American-led alliance,” Amanpour continued. “It was never about a marriage of equals.”
However, Farange — who aggressively championed the UK to leave the European Union over similar grievances of unbalanced global involvement — argued, perhaps unsurprisingly, in favor of Trump’s jarring rhetoric. “I think the American military over the past few years have been pretty unhappy with their NATO allies, who have kept cutting, cutting, cutting their defense spending,” he told Camerota and Chris Cuomo from Cleveland. “The problem with NATO is this,” he said. “It was a wonderful vehicle to keep peace in Europe for 60, 70 years. But NATO does not need to redefine itself. What’s it for?”
“I’m pro-NATO and pro-cooperation, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to ask what it’s for,” Farange noted.
But Amanpour called out the comparisons between the pro-leave referendum rhetoric of Farange and Boris Johnson with those aggressively isolationist proposals of Donald Trump.
“If I might be so bold, Nigel Farange is espousing a certain policy that Donald Trump agrees with as well,” she noted. “It’s this sort of authoritarian, autocratic bent towards letting other countries do what they think is best in their own self-interest, and America should stay out while America quote-unquote ‘Cleans up its own house.'”
Amanpour ultimately noted that if the United States has grand ambitions of continuing to be the world’s leader, it simply can not adopt the proposed policies that have emerged from the GOP nominee. Spreading the principles of democracy, freedom, morality and American values can only come when the country is in the driver’s seat, not waiting for others to pay their share. “America can not be America first is America is absent,” Amanpour argued.
Watch the above interview from CNN’s New Day.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
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