Donald Trump has predicted “revolutions” in Europe in a backlash against immigration and defended his remarks on Muslims, saying some were his “best friends,” in his first campaign interview with French media.
France “isn’t what it was” and the Germans no longer recognise their country, the Republican frontrunner in presidential primaries told the right-wing French weekly ‘Valeurs Actuelles’ in a long interview released today.
The maverick billionaire candidate also took a swipe at Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, saying she had made a “huge mistake with the migrants” by welcoming hundreds of thousands to seek asylum in recent months.
“What’s happening in Europe can lead to its collapse. It’s dramatic what (Merkel) has allowed to happen, this flood,” he said, adding that the “consequences” were being felt around the continent.
“If we don’t deal with the situation competently and firmly, then yes, it’s the end of Europe,” he predicted.
Stopping short of predicting civil war, he said the continent had “real revolutions ahead of you”, adding that Europe “won’t be spared” a 9/11-style disaster.
“My German friends no longer know where they are. They can’t believe their eyes about what is happening…they’re desperate,” he claimed.
He also warned that if immigration could not be dealt with “in an intelligent, rapid and energetic manner,” then Europe was headed for “more than just upheaval, on a scale you can’t even imagine”.
As for France, Mr Trump warned: “Unfortunately, France isn’t what it was, nor Paris”.
The pro-gun candidate claimed that the Paris terrorist attack of November 13 that killed 130 could have been thwarted if the French had been allowed to bear arms to defend themselves, saying he would have done so.
At the Bataclan (concert hall where 90 died), he said: “The only people who had weapons were the killers…it was ‘open bar’ for a massacre.”
He added: “I always carry a weapon on me. If I’d been at the Bataclan or one of those bars, I would have opened fire. I would have perhaps died, but at least I would have taken a shot. The worst thing is the powerlessness to respond to those who want to kill you,” he said.
With no armed resistance in the room, “it was a pigeon shoot”, he went on. The killers were “like kids in a candy store”.
Mr Trump defended recent controversial remarks in which he called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.
“I have lots of Muslim friends who I talk to all the time and who agree with me. They understand me. Something very serious is going on with radical Islamism and we have to understand what it is,” he said.
Mr Trump dismissed criticism over his unorthodox, populist campaign style, saying he was “very honoured” to have a cast of critics from Hollywood stars to the conservative magazine ‘National Review’.
“What annoys them the most is that I’m the only (candidate) who doesn’t need outside financial help,” he said. “As for National Review, it’s been on its last legs for ages. Its special edition against me helped me if anything.”
Saying he had tapped into anger among voters, he said: “The prevailing sentiment is that I’ve touched America’s sore points, where the malaise is deepest”.
Mr Trump, who gave the interview shortly before his triumph in the New Hampshire primary, added that even he was surprised at the success his tactics of bypassing media to address the people. “I admit that I wasn’t expecting it,” he said.(© Daily Telegraph London)