Trump a ‘threat’ to Europe – ECB chief

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The former US president’s potential return to the White House in 2025 is a source of concern, according to Christine Lagarde

Donald Trump’s potential election as US president in 2024 is “clearly a threat” to Europe, judging by the policies he pursued during his first term in office, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has warned.

Lagarde’s comments, which were delivered in an interview with France 2 on Thursday, come amid growing anxiety among EU leaders over a potential Trump victory in November’s election.

“If we draw lessons from history, by which I mean to say the manner in which he [Trump] carried out the first four years of his mandate, it is clearly a threat,” Lagarde stated.

“It is enough to look at trade tariffs, the commitment to NATO, the fight against climate change,” she added, noting that “in these three areas alone, in the past, US interests were not aligned with those of Europe.” 

Lagarde, who has headed the ECB since November 2019, had been critical of Trump before, particularly over trade tariffs. However, her latest comments are unusually strident for the head of a central bank, a role that typically precludes involvement in politics.

Meanwhile, as the 2024 race moves into high gear, current US President Joe Biden faces lagging approval ratings. He finished last year with a job approval rating of just 39%, the lowest for any of the last seven presidents at the same point in their first term, according to Gallup. By comparison, Trump ended his single term in office with 45% approval, while former President Barack Obama had a slightly lower 43% rating.

Trump, meanwhile, is now engaged in legal battles in Maine and Colorado after both states disqualified him from appearing on their ballots. This comes in addition to the four separate criminal cases that have been brought against the former president. Trump has slammed the charges against him as a political “witch hunt.”

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