European parliament leaders call on EU to reject Trump’s likely ambassador pick | The Guardian |

When recently asked by the BBC why he was interested in moving to Brussels, Ted Roosevelt Malloch replied: “I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming.”

He also said that Trump was not a fan of the EU, described it as “supranational and unelected” and attacked the European commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker. “Mr Juncker was a very adequate mayor I think of some city in Luxembourg, and maybe he should go back and do that again,” he said.

Manfred Weber, leader of the centre-right EPP and an ally of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the liberal ALDE group, accused Malloch of “outrageous malevolence” towards “the values that define this European Union”.

In a letter seen by the Guardian, Weber and Verhofstadt address Juncker and the president of the European council, Donald Tusk: “In the past weeks, Ted R. Malloch, the likely nominee by US President Trump to become the new US ambassador to the European Union, made a series of public statements denigrating the EU.

“In these statements, the prospective nominee expressed his ambition to `tame the bloc like he brought down the Soviet Union’, eloquently supported dissolution of the European Union and explicitly bet on the demise of the common currency within months.

“These statements reveal outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union and, if pronounced by an official representative of the United States, they would have the potential to undermine seriously the transatlantic relationship that has, for the past 70 years, essentially contributed to peace, stability and prosperity on our continent.”

A letter from the leader of the Socialists and Democrats group, Gianni Pittella, describes Malloch’s statements as “shocking” and urges the EU institutions to treat him as a “persona non grata”.

In another letter, published in the Guardian, 52 European figures affiliated with the European council on foreign relations have called on EU leaders meeting for a summit in Malta on Friday to stand up to Trump over his executive order on immigration.

[UPDATE-1] :: May’s Bridge to Trump Washed Away at EU Summit on Malta

More below the fold …

EU leaders round on Trump and reject May’s bridge-building efforts | The Guardian |

European leaders launched a series of attacks on Donald Trump over his anti-EU rhetoric on Friday, accusing him of a lack of respect, as Theresa May’s attempts to position herself as a bridge with the new US president were roundly rejected at a summit in Malta.

Trump’s conduct was scorned by prime ministers and presidents, with the French leader, François Hollande, warning there would be no future for Europe’s relations with the US “if this future isn’t defined in common”.

At a working lunch at the talks in the Maltese capital, Valletta, the British prime minister appealed to other leaders to work “constructively and patiently” with the American president. Addressing reporters, however, Hollande said: “Of course it is not about asking one particular country, be it the UK or any other, to represent Europe in its relationship with the United States.

“In a while, France will be the only permanent member of the security council to be also a member of the EU when the UK leaves.”

Dalia Grybauskaitė, the Lithuanian president, offered a withering verdict: “I don’t think there is a necessity for a bridge. We communicate with the Americans on Twitter.”

Asked about relations between Trump and May, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, revealed she had not personally spoken to the British prime minister about her visit to Washington, but she had been left “gratified” after May expressed to her a belief in a “strong European Union”. A planned bilateral meeting between the two leaders was, however, cancelled at the last minute.

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