Belfast Telegraph

Obama aide rails at Trump as she arrives for lecture in Belfast

By Suzanne Breen

Former US President Barack Obama's deputy campaign manager has said President Trump's policies are deeply harmful to the world.

But Jen O'Malley Dillon insisted there were still reasons for those who opposed Mr Trump to be hopeful despite the "disruption" he was causing in the US and abroad.

Ms O'Malley Dillon is due to deliver a lecture at Queen's University Belfast today. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, she said: "We have seen disruption and seismic events creating deep societal rifts in the US and across the globe.

"The policies enacted by the Trump administration not only harm Americans but our neighbours and allies, changing the position of the US in the world."

Ms O'Malley Dillon said it was easy to fear that the values, beliefs and ideas embodied by Mr Obama and his administration were long gone.

But there were still reasons to be hopeful and "to maintain a deep belief in the longevity of our democracy and the strength of the American people", she added.

"Since the minute Trump took office, the resistance has been sustained and continues to grow - fuelled by many who have never engaged in these ways before.

"Women, millennials, and diverse individuals who reflect the changing face of America are running for office and winning.

"Many corporations are not sitting idly by but speaking out on behalf of their employees and communities, against the administration, on things like immigration and gun regulations."

Ms O'Malley Dillon said "historically untouchable power structures and institutions" had effectively been challenged, such as the National Rifle Association by the students of Marjory Stoneman High School in Florida, where a gunman killed 17 students and staff.

She also cited the #Metoo movement and its success following sex abuse allegations relating to Harvey Weinstein.

"Policies like Obamacare that used to be seen as a political liability are now an asset that candidates are running on to much success," she added.

Belfast Telegraph

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