Foreign Minister Børge Brende met this week with several politicians who could get important jobs with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump’s administrations.
On the side of a large conference in the US capital this past week where Brende and other diplomats from around the world met in Washington to prepare for a new president moving into the White House on January 20th next year.
– It’s part of the job. A Norwegian foreign minister must have good access in Washington, they’re our closest ally. It can mean a lot if issues come up that are important for Norway, said Brende to news agency NTB.
Met with possible Trump Secretary
Thursday Brende met the Republican senator and Trump supporter Bob Corker on Capitol Hill. He leads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, and it is speculated loudly he could be John Kerry’s successor as the US Secretary if Trump wins the election.
Brende has previously said to NRK that “you won’t believe what one hears” about Trump’s many startling statements in the election campaign. In particular, he reacted to the statement that Trump made challenging a NATO Treaty article stating that an attack on one member nation is an attack on all.
– I do not take a position on the two candidates, but when a candidate casts doubt on NATO solidarity and Article five, I have to react, says Brende.
Reassured about Trump
He was reassured after meeting with Corker.
– Corker was clear that the solidarity of NATO is sacred, but that we in Europe must do more for our own safety and spend more on defense, said Brende to NTB after the meeting.
He has never met Trump, but in recent years has had a number of meetings with Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival.
– She is very knowledgeable, has great knowledge of Norway and our security challenges, says Brende, who met Clinton last year.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today