We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Alamy Stock Photo
rocky relationship

Varadkar dubs some Trump comments 'highly inappropriate' but says Govt will work with whoever is elected

The Taoiseach said the government will ‘do its best’ to work with whoever wins the next US election.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said the Irish government will do its best to work with whoever is elected the next president of the United States. 

“I think whoever’s elected is American president in November, we’ve a responsibility to work with them, whether it’s President Biden re-elected or President Trump re-elected, we’ll do our best to work with whoever the US president is,” said the Taoiseach.

Speaking to reporters in Bucharest at the European Peoples’ Party conference, Varadkar was reminded of comments made by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny prior to Trump being elected last time around, whereby he said Trump’s language was “racist and dangerous”.

It made for an awkward first meeting for Kenny and Trump in the White House, when an Irish reporter asked the newly-inaugurated US President how it felt to sit beside a man who had called his policies racist and dangerous?

Varadkar, sidestepping repeating such remarks, stating:

“I certainly agree that some of the comments that he’s [Trump] made in the past have been highly inappropriate. But we have to respect the decision of the American people,” Varadkar said today.

‘Rocky relationship’

However, the Taoiseach acknowledged that the relationship between Europe and the US was “rocky during the last Trump presidency, adding: “But did survive the last Trump presidency.”

His comments come after Biden and Trump swept the state primaries on Super Tuesday, all but cementing a November rematch.

Both the 81-year-old Biden and the 77-year-old Trump continue to dominate their parties despite facing questions about age and neither having broad popularity across the general electorate.

Varadkar said the he believes the relationship between the US and Europe “can remain strong no matter who is president in the White House”.

However, he stated that Europe needed to “stand on our own two feet”.

“Americans are great allies, great friends. I hope that will continue… America has been stronger than Europe economically, stronger than Europe in Defence Security terms for a very long time and we need to be able to stand our own two feet,” he concluded.

Varadkar is to make two visits to the White House this year as part of the St Patrick’s Day engagements in Washington DC.

On 15 March, US President Joe Biden will host Varadkar for a bilateral meeting. 

US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff will host the Taoiseach and his partner Matthew Barrett for a breakfast at the Naval Observatory that morning.

Varadkar will then attend the St Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House on 17 March.

Biden is the second US president Varadkar has met as Taoiseach, having already met with Trump for previous celebrations

With reporting by Jane Matthews in Bucharest 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel