Joe Biden fury: Democrat’s explosive rant at ‘thugs’ within European Union

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Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the polls as Americans vote in the US election today. The Democrat has held a consistent ten-point lead, although President Trump mounted a surprising comeback in 2016, leaving experts weary he could do so again. The impact of the vote will be felt far and wide, including in Europe, where Mr Biden made a shocking intervention to criticise authoritarian governments. Hungary and Poland have been the source of division within the EU as leaders in the bloc rage at the governments in Budapest and Warsaw. Brussels has already launched an Article 7 procedure – also known as the “nuclear option” – against both countries for contravening the rule of law.

Mr Biden hit out at two of the EU’s most controversial leaders – Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Andrzej Duda – as he lamented Mr Trump for befriending “thugs”.

Last month, the former Vice President said: “You see what’s happened, in everything from Belarus to Poland to Hungary, and the rise of totalitarian regimes in the world, and as well, this President embraces all the thugs in the world.”

The disputes between Brussels and its Eastern European partners have persisted for years.

Just last week, Warsaw was engulfed by protest after the Polish government sought to ban abortions in the country.

The country’s right-wing government has delayed implementation of a controversial court ruling after the furious demonstrations.

While Mr Biden has backed the European Commission by condemning Mr Orban and Mr Duda, President Trump has built up a strong relationship with the countries.

In 2019, the US President said Mr Orban was doing a “tremendous job”.

He added: “You’re respected all over Europe. Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that’s OK.

“You’ve done a good job and you’ve kept your country safe.”

Mr Orban said his government and the Trump administration were aligned on some global issues.

He said: “I would like to express that we are proud to stand together with the United States on fighting against illegal migration, on terrorism, and to protect and help Christian communities all around the world.”

Mr Orban wrote this month in a conservative newspaper: “We are rooting for another victory for Donald Trump because we are very familiar with the foreign policy of US Democratic administrations, built as it is on moral imperialism.

“We have tasted it — albeit under duress. We didn’t like it and we don’t want a second helping.”

Mr Biden has a history of backing the EU – including his comments on Brexit.

He said after the 2016 vote that Brexit “diminished” US interests in the UK.

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Meanwhile, Mr Trump has been a critic of the EU and backed Brexit – he also launched a trade war against the EU in 2018.

US politics expert, Professor Stephen Burman, told Express.co.uk that Mr Biden will try to take retribution against the UK over Brexit.

He said: “Joe Biden is Irish, so his commitment to a united Ireland would be absolute. If the Brits somehow contravened that and trouble arises on the border, Mr Biden would be furious.

“There are a lot of Irish sympathising politicians in the House of Representatives, and they would scupper a trade deal if Boris Johnson undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

“These things are absolute, the UK has no leverage on this.

“The UK would be finished in their eyes, and they would take retribution potentially across a whole range of policies.”

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