The leaders of the European Parliament’s main political parties have written to the EU to reject the appointment of businessman and author Ted Malloch, who is rumoured to be the President’s pick for his Brussels-based ambassador.
Manfred Weber, leader of the centreright EPP, and Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the liberal ALDE group, have accused Mr Malloch of “outrageous malevolence” towards the EU.
It is rumoured that President Trump will pick Ted Malloch to be European Union ambassador
Now they are seeking to block his appointment as a diplomat, which sources close to the President claim will be seen by Mr Trump as a “badge of honour” for his chosen envoy.
Mr Malloch has already apologised for suggesting the EU was like the Soviet Union and needed “taming”, in comments which provoked the Brussels leaders.
However he also said the move by MEPs was an unfortunate “overreaction” and “mischaracterisation” of his views that could lead to a diplomatic row.
Guy Verhofstadt (pictured) and Manfred Weber have accused Mr Malloch of ‘outrageous malevolence’
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A source close to Mr Trump said: “The President is not going to be bullied by Brussels and told who he can and can’t appoint.
The President is not going to be bullied by Brussels and told who he can and can’t appoint
“If they seek to block his chosen appointment, it will backfire and he won’t send a US ambassador to the EU at all and could entirely withdraw the United States Mission to the European Union.”
The source said the President might also decide to retaliate by expelling the EU’s ambassador to the US in Washington. “It’s a very dangerous game they are playing,” the source added.
Mr Malloch is said to have received the support of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. A source said: “He is 100 per cent behind the appointment.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is said to have supported Mr Malloch
On Friday, Mr Malloch insisted the US is not an enemy to the EU and called for a de-escalation in rhetoric. He said: “I simply don’t have such an attitude towards any country or any political entity,” he told The World At One.
“I think some of the language suggesting that the United States is now an enemy of Europe is patently false and we need to de-escalate that rhetoric.
“Absolutely if someone took it either out of context or took it as some kind of malevolent statement, I’m very pleased to apologise for it and I would be very pleased to meet with any of the leaders of the EU.”
French president Francois Hollande accused Mr Trump of a lack of “respect” for the European Union
French president Francois Hollande accused Mr Trump of a lack of “respect” for the European Union after the US President dismissed the EU as a “vehicle for Germany”.
He warned Mr Trump to stay out of European affairs, saying the EU will “defend its interests” on the global stage.
He and other European leaders also rejected Theresa May’s suggestion that she could act as a “bridge” with Mr Trump’s administration, while her planned bilateral with chancellor Merkel was cancelled.