Gov. Phil Bryant,right, spoke on Brexit leader Nigel Farage’s radio show Monday in London.


Gov. Phil Bryant found a new forum Monday to express his support for President Donald Trump — an appearance on Brexit leader Nigel Farage’s London radio show.

Bryant, who campaigned extensively for Trump in other states last fall,  told Farage in a 10-minute appearance that Trump had a “remarkable” first 100 days as president.

Bryant cited the appointment and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a decrease in Mexican border crossings and the president’s aggressive reaction to an Assad-led chemical attack in Syria.

“It’s just the world of bizarro, as we call it,” Bryant said of the perception of the presidency thus far. “If you read the liberal media, if you only watch MSNBC or only read The New York Times, you’d have thought he’s a total object failure.”

Farage successfully led the United Kingdom’s campaign to leave the European Union last summer, touching on UK citizens’ disdain for establishment politics there. Last August he stumped for Trump’s campaign at a Jackson rally during an impromptu trip to Mississippi.

Gov. Phil Bryant, left, poses with Nigel Farage during the Brexit leader’s visit to Mississippi in August.

During his radio show Monday, Farage lamented that Trump seems to be “having a pretty tough time getting his agenda through,” and that many Trump voters and commentators were “unhappy” and “nervous” about Trump’s response in Syria.

“Well, you know it’s always hard to keep everyone happy,” Bryant said. “If you’re keeping everyone happy, you’re doing something dramatically wrong.”

“As you become a president, I think he devolves to the point of seeing what happens when chemical agents were introduced and killing women and children. As most would, he wanted to react as a leader of the free world,” Bryant said.

The two did not discuss Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey or the ongoing FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Farage began the interview by asking Bryant, who is on a trade mission to London this week, to describe his role as governor for British listeners who might not understand America’s governmental structure.

Bryant talked about states’ rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution, saying he has “real power” in issuing executive orders, leading the Mississippi National Guard and running several state agencies, like the Department of Health and Department of Public Safety.

“Governors can make decisions,” Bryant said. “We have cabinets just like the president would. If you would think of the president of Mississippi, that would be much of what I do every day.

“Federalism would say that governors have the executive authority to run their state, basically as independent states within this confederation of the United States of America,” Bryant said.

Bryant and Farage have developed a friendship since Farage’s visit to Mississippi. The booze-filled Mississippi trip, which Farage colleague Arron Banks chronicled in detail in a book, was organized after a pre-dawn encounter in a bar following the closing night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in July 2016.

Drawing parallels between Brexit – short for “British exit” – and Trump’s appeal to Americans fed up with establishment politics in Washington, Farage won over the Mississippi crowd in a five-minute speech.

How Donald Trump and Nigel Farage met in Mississippi

During his Mississippi trip, Bryant hosted a state dinner for Farage and his associates in the Governor’s Mansion, according to the book.

Bryant even showed the delegation his man cave, “full of motorbikes, old Chevy cars, comfy chairs, a full bar and the best tobacco the South could offer. It was in the man cave where Bryant first proposed that Farage speak at the rally.

Ultimately, Farage’s last-minute agreement to speak booted former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s scheduled speech at the Mississippi rally.

“If I was an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me,” Farage told the crowd at the rally. “Anything is possible if enough American people stand up against the establishment.”

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Adam Ganucheau, as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief, oversees the newsroom and works with the editorial team to fulfill our mission of producing high-quality journalism in the public interest. Adam has covered politics and state government for Mississippi Today since February 2016. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam earned his bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Mississippi.

3 replies on “Gov. Bryant finds new venue to boost Trump”

  1. This is easily becoming one of my favorite romcoms. Move over, “Love, Actually,” two white nationalists have found each other and the media is here to document their budding relationship! “Confederacy of Dunces II,” in theaters this Christmas.

  2. Hey, Gov. Bryant, please consider adding a few high school American History textbooks to your man cave. The era when “independent states within this confederation of the United States” ended on March 4,1789 when the U.S. Constitution was approved. Later, during the Civil War, the Southern Confederacy was unsuccessful in reviving the concept of independent states. Your ideas about government have long since been crushed by history.

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