As Donald Trump heads to the World Economic Forum in Davos for photo opportunities, a quick meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and a speech on Friday, I spoke with Julia Hartley-Brewer of talkRADIO and Vanessa Feltz of BBC Radio London about the politics, economics, and puffery around the trip.
The discussion considers Britain’s diminished position and France’s more prominent one in a changing Europe and Trump’s likely soundbites:
Whereas France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and the Italian Prime Minister all are there with a message — a strong, active Europe post-Brexit, dealing with Trump — whereas the Indian Prime Minister was talking about an emerging India’s role in the world, Trump is not there to set out US policies or even talk about protectionism.
He’s there to be seen. For a long time, Trump has felt like he was on the outside of the elite. He’s not — he’s part of them — but he was always treated as quirky and quite unusual.
For him, this is his moment to shine.
The discussion considers how Trump has strained the US-UK relationship, amid the uncertainty of Brexit.
The broader issue is we have had this idea of the “special relationship” since 1945 but the position of each country is changing. Whereas Trump has brought uncertainty to the United States, the wider uncertainty of where the UK is if it leaves the European Union — that hangs over both countries, whether Donald Trump is in the White House over the next three years.
The chat concludes with a look at how the Trump-Russia investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller is closing on Trump.