Totally incredible: 2 Nutcases discuss the world situation
Posted by hkarner - 1. April 2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Nigel Farage, U.K. Outsider, Finds a Home in Donald Trump’s Orbit
Brexit advocate sees a kindred spirit in the White House, where his advice is welcome
LONDON—British politician Nigel Farage huddled with top aides to President Donald Trump at the White House for nearly three hours on a recent Saturday afternoon, discussing, among other things, what he sees as the deep flaws of the European Union. Then Mr. Farage bumped into Mr. Trump, who invited him to the steakhouse in the Trump International Hotel.
“Dinner with The Donald,” Mr. Farage wrote in a Twitter post with a picture of himself grinning widely next to Mr. Trump, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Also at the table was Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
A commodities trader turned antiestablishment activist, Mr. Farage campaigned for the U.K. to pull out of the bloc in last year’s referendum fight and then for Mr. Trump’s election. He has since become a regular presence in the president’s orbit, offering counsel and comparing notes, people familiar with the situation say.
Largely outside mainstream politics in Britain, Mr. Farage plays a role in the U.S. that reflects the relatively freewheeling atmosphere in the Trump White House, where the president solicits opinions from many informal advisers outside the policy establishment.
The 52-year-old Mr. Farage has met Mr. Trump some half a dozen times since the president’s victory in November, discussing topics including climate change, relations with Russia, and the functioning of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and EU, aides to Mr. Farage say.
“The president appreciates Mr. Farage’s support,” a White House official said. The official noted that both men led antiestablishment movements and have bonded over that. While the White House couldn’t verify how many times the two have met, the official said they discuss a range of topics when they talk.
“We’d been fellow travelers. We’d been through similar experiences,” Mr. Farage said in an interview, adding they shared success in reaching voters who hadn’t been engaged in politics.
“It is a personal relationship, it is a kindred spirit,” says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who introduced Messrs. Farage and Trump at a private fundraiser last summer. “These two men have the same philosophy about how government has got to be managed.”
Mr. Farage is a member—and a gadfly—of the European Parliament and hosts a London talk-radio show four nights a week. He is also part of a trans-Atlantic network of right-leaning politicians and ideologues eager to overthrow what they see as the liberal political order in the West and replace it with one built on nationalism and traditional values. He recently signed on as a commentator for Fox News, whose parent company, 21st Century Fox, shares common ownership with News Corp, The Wall Street Journal’s owner.
At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February, where Mr. Trump, his chief strategist Steve Bannon and other White House officials spoke, Mr. Farage made a broad prediction: “We witnessed the beginning of a global political revolution, and it’s one that is not going to stop. It’s one that is going to roll out across the rest of the free world.”
Despite his influential role in pushing Britain’s exit from the EU, Mr. Farage is mostly on the political sidelines in his home country. He holds no government office in the U.K., and Parliament’s sole member from his euroskeptic UK Independence Party left the party over the weekend. Mr. Farage was also shunned by the official Brexit campaign group, Vote Leave, which was run by mostly Conservative politicians.
Douglas Carswell, the former UKIP lawmaker who now sits as an independent, said Mr. Trump seems to have an overinflated view of Mr. Farage’s importance.
Brexit campaigner and Trump adviser Nigel Farage crossing Sixth Avenue in New York City in early March.
“Imagine if there was someone who had run for Congress six or seven times in five different U.S. states and failed each time,” said Mr. Carswell, now an independent. “You probably wouldn’t make them the main conduit for Anglo-American relations.”
Mr. Carswell is “consumed with jealousy,” said Mr. Farage, who has had public spats with him about the party’s post-Brexit direction.
Mr. Farage was the first foreign politician to meet with Mr. Trump after his election. On that occasion the U.S. leader thanked him for speaking up for him at a low point, after a video surfaced of Mr. Trump bragging about groping women, according to two people who were at the meeting.
The close relationship has ruffled feathers in Britain. Mr. Trump floated the idea that the U.K. should name Mr. Farage its ambassador to Washington, prompting a curt dismissal from the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May.
Asked whether he would consider working outright for the Trump administration, Mr. Farage said he hoped he was more useful as a freelancer.
“I’m a foreigner,” Mr. Farage said. “Although I do feel a bit more American every time I go.”