Category: Foreign Affairs

Trump gives his own performance a Trump-sized endorsement

Trump gives his own performance a Trump-sized endorsement

Politico
By Josh Dawsey
Image Courtesy of Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift.

So on Monday, the consummate salesman — who has spent his life selling his business acumen, golf courses, sexual prowess, luxury properties and, above all, his last name — gave the Trump White House a Trump-sized dose of brand enhancement.
With both the Roosevelt Room and the Rose Garden as backdrops, he mixed facts and mirage, praise and perfidy in two head-spinning, sometimes contradictory performances designed to convince supporters and detractors alike that everything’s terrific, moving ahead of schedule and getting even better. His opponents were cast as misguided, deluded or even unpatriotic.

It was the latest instance of Trump bypassing his own communications staff to speak directly to the press, and the public, after weeks of blistering criticism and as White House aides struggle with the increasing possibility that they may end the year without accomplishing any of their grand legislative goals.

Senate Republicans, Trump said, had let him down and hurt his agenda.

“I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest,” the president said.

Trump’s pledge to keep the world from laughing at us hits another setback

Trump’s pledge to keep the world from laughing at us hits another setback

The Washington Post by Philip Bump

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was supposed to attend this week’s Economic Council of the Christian Democratic Union meeting in Berlin, but suddenly canceled his travel plans on Tuesday. Ross was scheduled to give an address at the conference immediately before German Chancellor Angela Merkel, so he instead gave his remarks by teleconference from Washington.

Ross was allotted 10 minutes to speak. After he spoke for more than 20, the conference organizers cut his feed mid-sentence. The audience “laughed and clapped” in response, according to Bloomberg News. Merkel then rose and, during her remarks, disagreed with one of Ross’s points.

The relationship between President Trump and Merkel has been strained since his inauguration. His repeated insistence that Germany owes money to NATO and his unusual reticence to embrace that alliance has been one point of friction. His disparagement of Germany as “very bad” in a closed-door meeting was another. That claim centered on what Trump (and Ross) viewed as a trade disparity between the two countries and was the point with which Merkel took issue.