Mitchell: Paris Attacks ‘Have Transformed’ Our Politics and ‘Fueled the Trump Fire’
MITCHELL: "That is a big indication. In our conversation there, the Paris attacks have really transformed politics here. When we think back, it wasn’t just San Bernardino that fueled the Trump fire in America. It was the Paris attacks. And the feeling of vulnerability in western Europe. What is the sense there. How transformative were those attacks in the sense of security or insecurity in western Europe?"
CLEMONS: "I would say it’s a piece. There’s several pieces that have made politics in Europe broadly very toxic. One has been the refugee crisis. The other has been the internal security challenges and the fear of those that many, many from Belgium but also, France, Germany, also those who have gone to that sense of insecurity internally combined with the economic malaise that hit so much of Europe, it has created a toxicity in the politics here that’s hard to describe. But I mean, it’s actually in my estimation, worse. So there’s a fragility here that you can hear in almost every discussion in the Brussels forum. So when you’re sitting in the middle of something and hear about the anti-terror raids going on and have many people here, people are afraid and worried that this is driving the political response in very uncomfortable directions, in directions that remind people of a time before World War II. And so you feel it when you have the assembled people here and when you’re here, when this action, these anti-terror raids are going on combined with some of the deal-making around the refugee crisis right now. I know there’s a deal announced with Turkey and returning refugees from Greece and expelling them from Europe. All of that is combining to create a real fragility here."