EU project "in jeopardy" ahead of Trump inauguration -

Former political aide Sidney Blumenthal told Newstalk that Trump's presidency will be like "Nixon on steroids"

EU project "in jeopardy" ahead of Trump inauguration -

File photo, Sidney Blumenthal, senior advisor to former US President Bill Clinton, 16-Jun-2015. Image: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A former chief advisor to Bill Clinton has warned that the future of the European Union could be in jeopardy following the inauguration of Donald Trump.

The incoming US president has held several meetings with Euro-sceptic groups in the European Parliament.

In a video interview with the Bild newspaper, Mr Trump criticised the German Chancellor Angela Merkel - and called her country's decision to welcome one million migrants a "catastrophic mistake."

In an interview with the Times of London, he called the EU “basically a vehicle for Germany” and predicted that other countries will soon follow Britain’s lead in leaving the union.

“I believe others will leave,” he said. “I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think.”

“If refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe ... it’s going to be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it.

“People, countries, want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity.

“You look at the European Union and its Germany; basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out.”

A disaster for relations between the US and EU

Speaking exclusively to Newstalk’s foreign affairs correspondent, Shona Murray this afternoon, Sidney Blumenthal - who served as assistant and senior advisor to Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001 - warned that the future of the EU could be in jeopardy once the Trump administration comes to power in the US.

He said the European project “does not exist distinct from its alliance with the US” and said Trump’s relations with Russia and support for Brexit - as well as relations with other euro-sceptic parties - will be a disaster for relations between the US and the EU

He said Trump administration will be like "Nixon on steroids:"

“His character in some ways resembles a Nixon,” he said. “He has a damaged narcissism. He has no ability to withstand criticism, the normal give and take of democratic politics.”

A race to the bottom

In his interview with The Times, Mr Trump said he is a “big fan of the UK” and said he will be working very hard to put a new trade deal in place between the two markets quickly and properly.

Responding to the comments, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon suggested a free trade deal with the US would fail to make up for leaving the EU.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, 16-Jan-2017. Image: Jamie Simpson/Herald & Times PA Wire/PA Images

“I think the reality is Brexit is going to be damaging for the UK economy,” she said. “We saw the chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday, basically admit that.”

In an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sontag, Mr Hammond suggested Britain may consider abandoning its European style social model to “become something different.”

It has been suggested the British treasury may consider cutting corporation tax to compete globally against other low-tax nations.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Sturgeon said the chancellor was describing “a race to the bottom.”

“That sort of bargain basement economy where the UK government will try to attract business to the UK by offering lower taxes, lower wages and less regulation in terms of workers’ rights,” she said.

“Many people think the economic model should change, but not in the way he is describing.

“This is not a path the majority of people in Scotland voted to take.”