President Donald Trump’s support for the British exit from the European Union has EU boss Jean-Claude Juncker on edge. If the president doesn’t begin showing more U.S. support for the EU, he says, he’ll personally lead an effort to break apart the United States.
The remarkable threat came during a heated speech Juncker delivered before the European People’s Conference in Malta, where he warned that encourage from world leaders like Trump could lead to further defections from the EU.
“Brexit isn’t the end. A lot of people would like it that way, even people on another continent where the newly elected U.S. President was happy that the Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same,” he said.
Juncker then threatened: “If he goes on like that I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas in the U.S.”
Reports indicate that, while some members of the audience chuckled at the absurd remarks, Juncker appeared dead serious.
Oddly, Juncker’s harsh words were reserved for Trump. He didn’t even mention British politicians who led efforts to disentangle their country from the EU.
Making his comments even more bizarre, they came on the heels of a goodwill trip Vice President Mike Pence recently made to Brussels, which many observers took as a sign that the Trump administration is softening its critical stance against the EU.
During the presidential election, Trump didn’t hold back in signaling support for Brexit efforts. The president went so far as to declare last summer: “They will soon be calling me Mr. Brexit!”