February 9, 2017


Trump's faux-pas diplomacy : The State Department is struggling to contain the fallout as Trump goes off topic in calls with foreign leaders. (TARA PALMERI, KENNETH P. VOGEL, JOSH DAWSEY and NAHAL TOOSI 02/08/17, Politico)

Trump also used the exchange to vent about his personal fixations, including his belief that the United States is being taken advantage of by China and international bodies like NATO, the official said.

At one point, Trump declared that the French can continue protecting NATO, but that the U.S. "wants our money back," the official said, adding that Trump seemed to be "obsessing over money."

"It was a difficult conversation, because he talks like he's speaking publicly," the official said. "It's not the usual way heads of state speak to each other. He speaks with slogans, and the conversation was not completely organized."

The revelations about the unconventional call are only the latest in a series of leaked accounts of Trump's calls with foreign leaders that are generating increasing doubts about the new president's style of diplomacy at a time of global uncertainty. Diplomats and politicians across the spectrum and around the world are worried that Trump's seemingly unstructured and personality-driven approach to dealing with foreign leaders risks alienating traditional allies and emboldening foes.

The madman strategy requires both that it be an act and that someone competent be waiting in the wings to achieve the objective. With Donald the ranting is gratuitous and purposeless and there's no one on staff who knows what he's doing.

Trump struggling to fill one of the worst jobs in Washington (ELIANA JOHNSON, 02/08/17, Politico)

The White House has gone without a full-time communications director since Trump was sworn in last month, and although chief of staff Reince Priebus is spearheading a robust effort to fill the position, his overtures to several Republican communications professionals have been met with disinterest, according to a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the situation. At least two candidates have turned down the job, a position normally coveted by Washington political operatives, according to another source familiar with the conversations.

Posted by at February 9, 2017 7:15 AM