Nationalism is “very natural,” Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday during a visit to Europe just days ahead of the EU elections, adding: “If you don’t love your country … you’re kinda weird.”
The former New York mayor, who is a close aide to the U.S. President, told Euronews' Stefan Grobe that the challenge to Europe’s internationalist consensus was “maybe good” for debate.
His comments come amid fears that this weekend’s EU vote could see success among far-right parties in several countries.
During a brief visit to Paris, Giuliani said the division of powers between states in the U.S.offered a useful model for local decision-making.
He also called for further isolation of Iran, dismissed attempts to impeach Trump as “a joke” and pledged to “keep pushing the situation of Ukraine’s involvement” in the 2016 U.S. election.
“I don’t think you have one consistent mood here in Europe,” Giuliani said, adding that it was unclear what would voters would choose as “elections are getting ridiculously difficult to call.”
“I think it maybe good for Europe that you’re having this debate between internationalism and the home country coming first …I guess it’s called nationalism which has a bad meaning because of the historical things to happen with nationalism, but it’s a very natural thing for you to love your country. If you don’t love your country … you’re kinda weird, actually.”
Asked why nationalism in Europe had twice ended in war, he responded that socialism had also led to disaster. “Who killed more people than Stalin?,” he asked.
Giuliani said: “Any of these isms that get out of control … internationalism can become the Third Reich, that was an international organisation. To take the excess of a philosophy as the philosophy is a mistake. Nationalism is just as valid as internationalism. Either can become perverted, either can lead to dictatorship and the reality is we’re not even near that right now.”
Big organisations such as the EU “are very far from the people, and there’s a lot of money they waste,” he said.
He also described Trump as “a great guy” and a “very caring” personal friend.
“He’s extremely bright, very sharp, very smart. That confounds his critics because they think ‘he doesn’t know what he’s talking about’ but he ends up steering the whole thing his way.”