Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) has defended calling Donald Trump “a decent man”, arguing it is the duty of any British MP to maintain good relations with a US president.
IDS said he “did not resile” from his efforts to befriend the US president.
In 2016, IDS agreed with former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who said the US president was “a decent man”.
Asked if he had changed his mind, IDS told BBC 2’s Politics Live he “did not resile from the fact that it is the job of every British government to try and work with an incoming US president”.
“I am as warm towards Joe Biden as I would have been towards Donald Trump”, he said.
The Tory former minister said that did not mean he had to agree with Trump’s “narcissistic” behaviour and agreed he was not fit to be president.
“From the word go Donald Trump has always shown he was, in fact, a narcissist and the trouble with narcissists, at the end of the day, is that they see everything in personal terms and never in actual government or policy terms and I think his odd behaviour, in and out, has marked some things that have gone very well.”
IDS continued: “The number one thing I have learnt in life, that I say to everybody, is that it’s not how to win but how to deal with failure so that way you actually cope with it. He actually hasn’t been able to cope with that and I think that’s the worst bit.”
IDS said he believed there was no conspiracy to skew the November 3rd vote as Trump has touted over the past few months.
Defending his previous comments, IDS suggested he could not have known how chaotic of a leader Trump would have been until he was “in power”.
IDS had hoped his support for Trump would help Britain strike a trade deal with the US.
Asked if the US Capitol riots had helped change his mind about Trump, IDS replied: “No, no, no, not at all. I am keen on an American president and to do a deal with them and, quite rightly, if they are deemed to help support us through free trade deals and through various other bits.
“The reality of what’s happened over there is that his personality has masked anything he might have succeeded in and this last this last period in the run-up to the election and his handling of Covid, has left everyone wondering exactly how good it would be to eventually see the back of him.”