US president will say west must ‘defend our civilisation’ from terrorism, bureaucracy and erosion of traditions.
Donald Trump will use a landmark speech in Warsaw on Thursday to warn that the future of the west is in doubt if nations do not show more resolve in facing challenges.
“The defence of the west ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail,” Trump will say, according to excerpts released by the White House.
“The fundamental question of our time is whether the west has the will to survive.”
Trump will paint a picture of the west facing existential challenges to “defend our civilisation” from terrorism, bureaucracy and the erosion of traditions, according to the extracts.
He will point to Poland – which in the last century endured Nazi and Soviet occupation – as an example of resolve.
“The story of Poland is the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken, and who have never forgotten who they are,” he will say.
In a nod to the conservative values he shares with Poland’s controversial ruling Law and Justice party, Trump will also call on the west to defend its traditions.
“Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty,” he will say.
“We must work together to counter forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.”
Trump will also issue a Reaganesque call to tackle bureaucracy, which he will frame as more than just an inconvenience or byproduct of a rules-based society.
“On both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger – one firmly within our control. This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles. The steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.
“The west became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies,” he will say.
Before the speech, Trump and the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, held a press conference touching on a range of issues including Russia, Islamic State, North Korea and the US president’s recent spat with CNN over a tweet posted by Trump of a video of him wrestling a man with a CNN logo superimposed on his head.
Trump praised Poland as being one of the “few nations” that met its financial obligations to Nato. He said since he had pressured other member nations to meet their financial obligations the “money had been pouring in”.
Trump said the US was also working with Poland “in response to Russia’s actions and destabilising behaviour”.
And he said nations must unite to confront Isis and terror groups but also “the threat from North Korea”.
“We will confront it very strongly. President Duma and I call on our nations to publicly demonstrate to North Korea and demonstrate there are consequences to their very bad behaviour.”
On Syria, Trump said both nations recognised the war-torn country required “a political solution that does not advance Iran’s destructive agenda and does not allow terrorist organisations to return”.
Asked about North Korea’s recent missile tests and Trump’s planned response, the president replied: “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. I don’t like to talk about what I have planned.
“I have some pretty severe things we’re thinking about. I don’t draw red lines. President Obama drew red lines. I’m the one who makes it look a little bit better than it was.
“I would have done a lot sooner and you wouldn’t have the same situation as you do in Syria. We’ll just take a look at what’s coming over the weeks and months. It’s a shame they’re behaving in this way. They’re behaving in a very dangerous manner.”
Asked to comment on the wrestling tweet, Trump said: “What CNN did was unfortunate for them. They have some pretty serious problems.
“They have been fake news for a long time. They’ve been covering me in a very dishonest way. NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact I made them a fortune with the Apprentice.
“CNN has really taken it too seriously and they have hurt themselves very badly. We want to see honest – beautiful, free – but honest press. We want to see fair press. We don’t want fake news. Not everybody is fake news. But we don’t want fake news.”
Trump closed the press conference with a rambling response to a call from a reporter to “finally answer yes or no” whether he thought Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.
He said: “I think it was Russia; I think it was other countries. I think it could well have been Russia and it could have been other countries. A lot of people interfere. It’s been happening a long time.”
Trump accused the former US president Barack Obama of ignoring warnings given before the election that Russia was interfering with it.
“He was told in early August, Russia was trying to get involved, meddling, pretty strongly. He did nothing about it. The reason is he thought Hillary was going to win,” Trump said. “I agree it was Russia but I think it was other people or other countries. No one really knows, no one really knows for sure.”
The press conference ended with the reporter being shouted over by the Polish mediator to end her questioning.