PHOTO: Donald Trump and Nigel Farage in Trump Tower last week
I spoke with BBC Radio Coventry on Tuesday about the political significance of Donald Trump’s meeting last week with Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party, in New York.
The story is not just about Trump’s violation of diplomatic protocol by receiving Farage for discussions, rather than speaking with the British Government. It is not even just about Trump’s tweet on Monday compounding the challenge to London:
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
This story is about how Trump sought the meeting to pursue a business interest. He asked Farage and the billionaire backer of UKIP, Arron Banks, to press British officials for the removal of a wind farm near a Trump resort and golf course in Scotland.
Trump has failed in his efforts through the British courts, but now he apparently thinks he can use the Presidency to renew his campaign.
A Trump spokesman initially denied that any request had been made, but the President-elect admitted on Monday to The New York Times that he had asked Farage to intervene.
In that interview, Trump also maintained, “The law’s totally on my side. The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”