Former US ambassador to EU: Trump reminds me of Mussolini

Former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Gardner said in an interview Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE reminds him of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Gardner told Jack Blanchard, the editor of Politico’s London Playbook, that he is “troubled” by Trump’s “language” and “playbook.”

"For a couple of years, I was troubled by many things that Donald Trump shares with Benito Mussolini, someone my Italian grandparents fled from in 1938," Gardner said in the interview.

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Gardner, who served as ambassador under former President Obama, also commented on Trump’s reaction to the protests over police brutality and treatment of minority populations following George Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest as Floyd told him he could not breathe.

"It's very disappointing, very dispiriting to have a president of the U.S. who is openly fomenting and inciting racial divisions in order to energize part of his base,” he said. 

The former ambassador said he is “glad” officials like former Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump prizes loyalty over competence — we are seeing the results Lawmakers torch Trump plan to pull 11,900 troops from Germany Are US-Japan relations on the rocks? MORE and former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE spoke out against Trump amid the protests. But he added that he doesn’t “welcome those statements in the sense that those people served this president."

"To me, quite bluntly, they are accomplices,” he said. 

“So while I am glad they are saying what they are saying, it comes too late," he added later.

Gardner said he is backing Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump campaign emails supporters encouraging mask-wearing: 'We have nothing to lose' Cuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks MORE’s presidential campaign, although he acknowledged that young voters aren’t excited about the presumptive Democratic nominee. But he said Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Trump Spanish-language ad equates progressives, socialists Biden's tax plan may not add up MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response MORE (D-Mass.) were “unelectable” in the U.S.

"I am convinced he's the right person," Gardner said, referring to Biden. "I am going to do everything I can to make sure we get a change in November."