European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday said that he’ll encourage individual states to secede from the U.S. if President Donald Trump keeps pushing for other countries to leave the European Union.
“The newly elected U.S. president was happy that Brexit was taking place and was asking other countries to do the same,” Juncker said at the center-right European People’s Party congress in Malta, as quoted by CNN. “If he goes on like that I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas, in the United States of America.”
Trump in June 2016 appeared unaware of the term “Brexit.”
“Brexit? Your position?” interviewer Michael Wolff asked Trump.
“Huh?” Trump replied, according to the Hollywood Reporter
“Brexit,” Wolff repeated.
“Hmm,” Trump said.
Upon clarification, Trump — who was at the time the Republican nominee — declared that he supported it.
Later in June, a day after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, Trump blamed
Obama and took credit for predicting the outcome of the referendum.
In August 2016, Trump tweeted that he would soon be known as “MR. BREXIT.”
He did not clarify who “they” were or what the new moniker (which has not gained popularity since) would mean.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was a “leader in the effort to call Brexit.”
Spicer told reporters that Trump is “very well steeped in world affairs, especially Europe, NATO, all the issues.”
Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.