Out­spo­ken politi­cian Roberts finds a lot to like in Pres­i­dent-elect Trump

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - BY DAVE SHERFIN­SKI

Un­like many for­eign lead­ers who have shied away from or tried to ig­nore Don­ald Trump, newly elected Aus­tralian Sen. Mal­colm Roberts is proud of his early sup­port for the mav­er­ick Repub­li­can can­di­date and now the pres­i­dent-elect.

“We’re the only party that ac­tu­ally came out and sup­ported the Trump can­di­dacy,” Mr. Roberts, a mem­ber of Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion po­lit­i­cal party, said in be­tween meet­ings in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., this week. “We also cel­e­brated his vic­tory the mo­ment it hap­pened. We were very happy about that.”

The ap­peal of Mr. Trump’s cam­paign, he said, was that “it seemed to be that the Amer­i­can peo­ple are at last wak­ing up that there’s some­thing wrong, and they’re say­ing to both main par­ties: You caused this. We don’t know what the prob­lem is, but we know there’s a prob­lem,” he said.

An en­gi­neer and one­time coal miner elected to rep­re­sent Queens­land ear­lier this year, Mr. Roberts has de­fended Mr. Trump in speeches be­fore his col­leagues, and he brought a “Don’t Tread on Me” Gads­den flag, now closely as­so­ci­ated with the Amer­i­can tea party move­ment, to Par­lia­ment af­ter Mr. Trump’s shock­ing win.

Chan­nel­ing the of­ten con­fronta­tional lan­guage and at­ti­tude of Mr. Trump him­self, Mr. Roberts said last month that “af­ter im­pris­on­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton,” the first act of a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion could be to roll back cli­mate poli­cies en­acted un­der eight years of “the de­struc­tive and rud­der­less Obama pres­i­dency.”

But Mr. Roberts said he went pub­lic with his sup­port for Mr. Trump in part be­cause other of­fi­cials were speak­ing out so harshly against Mr. Trump and in fa­vor of Mrs. Clin­ton. For ex­am­ple, Queens­land Deputy Pre­mier Jackie Trad re­port­edly said shortly be­fore the elec­tion that Amer­i­cans could do bet­ter than hav­ing a “big­oted” man as a leader.

Mr. Roberts has close ties to the United States. His wife is from Penn­syl­va­nia, and he re­ceived his MBA from the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago. He is per­haps best known in Aus­tralian po­lit­i­cal cir­cles for his out­spo­ken re­jec­tion of the idea of man-made cli­mate change, and he thinks he will soon have an ally in the White House.

“It’s very im­por­tant that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion hold its line and start ex­pos­ing the scam that is this cli­mate change,” he said.

“We’re hop­ing that he will stay [true] to his word and pull out of the Paris agree­ment,” Mr. Roberts said of the multi­na­tional cli­mate deal bro­kered in part by Pres­i­dent Obama to lower global emis­sions lev­els. “We’re hop­ing that he will dis­man­tle the EPA.”

He said he was en­cour­aged by Mr. Trump’s se­lec­tion of Ok­la­homa At­tor­ney Gen­eral Scott Pruitt, a fierce critic of the EPA’s reg­u­la­tory over­reach, to head the agency, and that he also likes what he has heard from Mr. Trump about his crit­i­cism of the Fed­eral Re­serve’s fis­cal stim­u­lus ef­forts.

But he also cau­tioned the new ad­min­is­tra­tion against be­com­ing too closely aligned with Wall Street. Steven Mnuchin, Mr. Trump’s pick for trea­sury sec­re­tary, and Gary D. Cohn, his choice for di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, both have close ties to Gold­man Sachs.

“I’d love to see Don­ald Trump un­shackle Amer­ica from the Fed. I’d love to see Don­ald Trump hold Hil­lary Clin­ton ac­count­able. And I’d love to see Don­ald Trump get away from ap­point­ments of peo­ple — Gold­man Sachs for­mer em­ploy­ees — be­cause they have been seen as peo­ple in the past who lit­ter ev­ery ad­min­is­tra­tion and per­pet­u­ate the poli­cies of the Fed,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.