NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party, told PJM that there is “nothing to be lost” with President Trump meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Trump has to show he’s “not going to be a pushover.”
“Well, he has to show he wants to have a better relationship with Russia. He believes we have shared common interests in dealing with Islamic terrorism and issues like that but he’s not going to be a pushover — that’s what you’ve got to show,” Farage said during an interview Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.
“He’s going to say, ‘Look, you’ve behaved badly but we want to form a grown-up relationship with you.’ One thing is for certain, there’s nothing to be lost with him meeting Putin. Nothing at all,” he added.
Farage rejected the notion that the U.S. cannot make a good deal with Russia.
“They are small-minded, very silly people who don’t understand there is a thing in life called human chemistry. Trump himself said ‘I may not get along with him,’ but the very fact he is prepared to meet is grown-up policy. The great Winston Churchill said jaw-jaw is better than war-war and I’m with that,” he said.
Farage told PJM that Trump should “stick” to what he has been doing in office and not change anything.
“You know, with 34 days in I think that he clearly has the intention of a man who intends to put into place the ticket on which he was elected, and how refreshing is that in a democracy? We are not used to it,” he said. “My guess is he’ll be feeling a bit frustrated with the judges and other people; I would just like to see him to stick to what he’s doing. I mean, maybe he is going to have to box clever to get some of his stuff through, but basically don’t change.”
British lawmakers recently debated whether they should withdraw a state visit invitation to Trump. Some European leaders have voiced opposition to Trump’s travel ban that covers seven Muslim-majority countries. Farage was asked if Trump should tweak any of his policy positions given the criticism he has faced from some world leaders.
“Obviously, the world is watching on the Russian stuff to see exactly where this goes. On issues like that people will be looking for a bit more clarity because he wants to have better relations – what exactly does that mean?” he said. “And the world will be looking for that and the European Union are terrified of him, absolutely terrified of him. Good.”
During the interview, Farage shared his reaction to far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen recently refusing to wear a headscarf in Lebanon in order to meet with the Grand Mufti.
“Listen, good for her. You know, she’s a strong woman. It remains to be seen what the runoff is going to be, it’s going to be fascinating. France is where the action is going to be. The global revolution of ’16 could keep rolling,” said the leader of the 2016 Brexit movement.