Conventional images and unconventional talk on Trump's trip

Tina Ray
May 30, 2017

Trump flipped traditional USA foreign policy upside down on his tour through the Middle East and Europe, coddling Middle Eastern leaders with questionable human rights records while demanding traditional European allies pay more for their defense. He danced with Saudi royalty, and then struck a multibillion-dollar arms deal with them.

The president received a resounding welcome from his audience, but when he returns to Washington, he will return to criticism amid several new developments in the ongoing Russian Federation story.

Whether on relations with Muslims or climate change, the two Trump aides said, the 45th us president is evolving.

The difference in the two receptions was striking. The European leaders laid emphasis on the points that the attack on one ally is treated as the attack on the entire allies. Throughout the week, president Trump had great time with Middle East countries and Pope. Leaders of the G7 wrap up their meeting on Saturday with discussions focused on terrorism, climate and trade.

Fourth, and most fundamentally: Does more military spending buy more security?

Speaking in a Munich beer tent during a campaign stop after spending time with Trump at a G7 meeting in Italy and the Brussels NATO summit, Merkel said: "The times in which we could rely fully on others - they are somewhat over".

Commentators obsessed over the looks on European leaders' faces as Trump lectured them for not contributing enough on defense. Whether it was lecturing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for their inadequate contributions to the alliance, scolding Germany for its trade surplus with the United States, or pushing the leader of Montenegro out of his way at a photo shoot, Mr. Trump has switched from diplomat to disrupter.

As Trump headed home, European officials were left with mixed feelings: relief that he had been patient enough to listen to their arguments and unsettled by a Jekyll-and-Hyde figure who is still finding his way on the big policy issues. Mr. Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner joined him to meet Saudi Arabia's octogenarian monarch, King Salman, but they left for Washington before he arrived in Italy.

The Trump family hasn't escaped notice. "I said she doesn't have the stamina, and I don't believe she does have the stamina".

Some of the commentary was harsh. In an op-ed by its editor, Klaus Brinkbaumer, the paper said the global community can't wait till it "finds a way to circumvent the White House and free itself of its dependence on the U.S".

She added with a directness not often employed in diplomatic speak, "This is what I experienced in the last few days". Le Journal du Dimanche subsequently reported how Macron's "handshake with him, it wasn't innocent". "You have to show you won't make small concessions - not even symbolic ones". 23 members of the 28, claimed Trump, "are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defence". "We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands".

As he mulls changes, Trump has entertained formally bringing back his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie. Jones, who works in chemical manufacturing in England, said he appreciates Trump's directness. Cohn stressed Friday that the president was simply being critical of the USA trade deal with Germany.

"He's quite forthright", Jones said.

"The whole discussion about climate has been hard, or rather, very unsatisfactory", Merkel told reporters after the summit.

From the muck level dross of Twitter, Trump expressed in the aftermath of his visit a degree of satisfaction at what could only be discussed as another illusion. "By showing his disregard for Article Five, President Trump emboldens Russian aggression in Europe". The largest military power on earth was exhausted about having to provide a shield of defence without some local compensation, and here, its President was claiming some form of fictional proprietorship.

"This is a commitment to our collective defense from the United States, not only in words but also deeds", he said.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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