Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
A hugely, tremendously, most special relationship
14 July 2018, 20:49 | Updated: 14 July 2018, 20:58
The news this week, as it has been ever since the Screaming MeMe became the leader of the free world, was dominated by Donald Trump.
The wide-eyed awe and kid-in-a-sweet-shop delight that the press approach the permanent news-gasm that is the President of the United States of America meant that even the rescued boys from the Thai cave and the victims of the Russian poisoning in Salisbury were shunted off the front page as The Donald made an all-out assault on America's longest suffering ally.
Since taking office, he has made it his focus of attention, when he is not picking Twitter fights with celebrities, to destabilise all of America's traditional friends, while lavishing praise on their historical enemies.
He attacks Germany because it is a strong country in a powerful block. The EU is the only trading entity that comes close to the heft of the United States. It is practically their economic equal.
Trump's, and coincidentally Putin's goal is to split the EU up in order that their respective countries would be stronger by comparison.
Divide and conquer – it's the oldest trick in the book.
It is why Trump is urging Britain and France to split from the Europe completely, in order that he can negotiate with much weaker entities than would be the case if we were still part of the EU.
In that scenario, we would simply take what we are given and be grateful, rather than bog the President down in the tedious negotiating of trade deals that are not his forte.
He doesn't do detail. He prefers to issue edicts off the top of his head and have his minions run around trying to translate them into policy.
The berserk attacks on America's friends, like Canada for instance, should be sending warning bells ringing through Whitehall that he is not a man to be trusted, let alone depended upon for the future wealth of the nation.
We are leaving the security of the EU gang, to bet our future on the whims of an inveterate liar who has shown himself time and again to be a vain, narcissistic bully, only interested in how any action can benefit him personally, and who changes his mind about an issue in the same breath.
What could possibly go wrong?
His bizarre genuflecting before dictators can be explained through the prism of his preening self-interest.
When arriving at a friendly country, like ours for example, he lobs a diplomatic hand grenade out of the plane before he touches down, to unsteady his hosts which has the result of making him appear stronger, in his mind.
It also places him in the spotlight, without which he may well wither like the melting Wicked Witch of the West.
The furore he creates plays well with the yokels in the Make America White Again hats back home. He's a tough guy, doing tough-guy stuff.
This is all in stark contrast to his genuflection before dictators.
His ingratiation with Kim Jong-un and the boasting of peace in our time was in direct contrast to the North Korean leader's pronouncements and that country's actions after their bizarre “summit”.
The Donald left tweeting that the world was a safer place and that he had worked his special orange magic on the roly-poly despot who had agreed to abandon all his nuclear weapons.
The Kim eventually said: oh no I didn't, but by then Trump has issued a mountain of other lies and the fact checkers of the fourth estate were left in a swirling eddy of misinformation that is the modus operandi of the occupier of the Whitehouse.
He says so many self-aggrandising lies that it is impossible to respond in real time. The press scurry after him issuing corrections but by the time they have gone to print, they are hopelessly behind and buried under another volley of mendacity.
It must be like trying to crawl out of quicksand – the more you attempt to keep above ground, the more you sink into the mire.
What is obviously not “fake noos” is that Trump's special friend is, of course, Vladimir Putin.
As far back as Oct. 7, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the agencies of the U.S. Intelligence Community – all 17 of them - that stated that the Russian Government “directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations...intended to interfere with the US election process.”
The Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the US election has so far led to the indictment of 25 Russians and three Russian companies and five guilty pleas from those that worked on Trump's campaign.
But Donny says he asked Vlad if he did it and Putin said nyet, so that's good enough for him, case closed, nothing to see here.
He is going to pay his respects to the Russian leader this week.
I will eat Jacob Rees-Mogg's top hat if he issues one word of disrespect to the leader of that nation, as he has done to the leaders of countries that have traditionally stood by America and acted with them against its perceived enemies.
He will do as he did when they last met – perch on the edge of his seat and blab about how tremendous a leader “Pootin” is and how well their talks have gone, while Putin sits motionless and silent, commanding the room, as his visitor fills the air with noise like a toddler on a sugar rush.
The contrast to how he treats the leaders of real democracies could not be starker.
If we really are in a special relationship, it seems like an abusive one.
If our two countries were people, we would either be in counselling or the neighbours would have called the police by now.