President Donald Trump is currently on a 12-day trip to Asia. Trump has visited Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and he is now in the Philippines, where his Asian tour draws to a close. With tensions on the Korean peninsula so high, many feared that Trump’s visit would spark further conflict between the U.S. and North Korea. Thankfully President Trump managed to avoid his usual bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un, but that doesn’t mean that he managed to avoid more controversy.
As reported by the Inquisitr yesterday, Trump managed to undermine his own intelligence services when he told the press that he “absolutely believes” Vladimir Putin when he says that Russia did not meddle in last year’s U.S. presidential election. The problem for Trump is that the U.S. intelligence report on the matter makes it absolutely clear that Russian agents, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, did interfere, and they did so to smear Clinton and help Trump to get elected.
As reported by The Guardian, it took just one day for President Trump to step back from his comments about Putin and Russian meddling. Speaking at a news conference in Hanoi on Sunday, Trump told reporters that he believes “very much in our intelligence agencies.” As you might expect, Presidents Trump’s comments about Putin did not go down well with everyone at home.
Senator John McCain, a fierce critic of President Trump, took to Twitter to say that “there’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over the U.S. intelligence community.”
We should be realistic about Trump’s responsibilities towards both Russia and China. It is clearly in America’s interests to have good relationships with both nations. Russia and China are powerful countries, and they may well hold the key to solving the problem of North Korea’s drive to become a nuclear state.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a U.S. president needs to have cordial and cooperative relationships with both China and Russia. However, those relationships should always be treated with suspicion, and the voices of the intelligence community and the State Department should always be listened to. Donald Trump shows no such caution in his approach to China and Russia.
Before leaving for his trip to Asia, Trump took to Twitter to congratulate China’s leader, Xi Jinping, on his “extraordinary elevation.” President Donald Trump, the leader of the free world, congratulated a communist dictator for taking absolute and total control of his nation. Xi Jinping shares that level of power with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. He too has absolute and total control of his nation. It is perhaps this level of authority that Donald Trump covets. The clues are in the comments that Trump made during a recent interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News.
Why Does President Trump Admire Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping?
Before leaving for his trip to Asia, President Trump did an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News. As reported by Newsweek, Ingraham fed Trump a line of “friendly” questions, most of which he was unable to answer. The one question he did answer perhaps reveals why President Trump admires Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin so much.
Anyone who follows U.S. politics will know that Donald Trump has been unable to fill a host of roles at the State Department. An analysis by Fox News found that five of six undersecretary positions and 21 of 24 assistant secretary posts remain empty almost one year into Trump’s presidency.
When Ingraham quizzed President Trump about the State Department vacancies, his answer gave a clear sign as to how Donald Trump sees himself. As reported by the Independent, Trump said that he does not need to fill vacant government posts because he is “the only one that matters.”
“The one that matters is me. I am the only one that matters. When it comes to it, that’s what the policy will be.”
With these comments, President Donald Trump denigrates the role of the State Department, a department with 70,000 employees, a $47.5 billion budget, and whose only reason for existence is to advise the U.S. president on foreign policy. Trump suggests that, like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, his is the only voice that matters.
A thirst for power is not the only trait that Trump shares with Putin and Xi Jinping. Like the Russian and Chinese leaders, Trump is quick to take action against anyone challenging his authority. Where opponents of Putin and Xi Jinping find themselves in prison, or simply disappear, Trump wages war on Twitter. The message is clear, “I’m the guy, don’t mess with me.”
President Donald Trump would do well to remember that, unlike China and Russia, the U.S. is not a communist dictatorship. The U.S. Constitution put checks and balances in place to ensure that no U.S. president is above the law and to remind the president that he serves the will of the people.
[Featured Image by Andy Wong/AP Images]